Lemuroid Possums:

The Awesome Possums

Climate Change and the Science Behind It

Many would define climate change simply and passively as changes in global or regional climate patterns, but climate change is becoming more and more personal as it affects each of us that live on planet Earth. Over the past 20 years, evidence that humans are affecting the climate has accumulated inexorably. Scientists think that the principal driver of recent climate change is greenhouse gas emissions from human activities, primarily the burning of fossil fuels to make electricity, cars, and fuel factories.The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says "The scientific evidence for warming of the climate system is unequivocal". All major global surface temperature reconstructions have proven that the Earth has warmed since 1880. The 20 warmest years Earth has experienced have been since 1981,and surface temperatures have exponentially increased since. A big part of our planet that have felt the effects of warming are our oceans. They have felt most of the increased heat, and many of the animals that depend on the ocean such as fish, as well as their predators, have felt the effects of global warming. Sea levels have also been rapidly rising, leading to many animals losing their homes, most notably the Arctic Polar Bear. But it isn't just an animal's problem anymore, major cities also are now in danger of being drowned alive if we don't change our policies soon.




Why Should We Care?

We see climate change's influence around us daily

  • Glaciers are melting, sea levels are rising, and people's lives are in danger. Cities such as Miami, Florida are expected to be completely underwater in less than a century.
  • We will experience longer, more dangerous heat waves
  • Animals and humans alike will die off, leaving a barren world behind them




Lemuroid Possum

The Hemibelideus lemuroides, better known as the Lemuroid Ringtail Possums, weigh between 750 grams to an upwards of 1100 grams (or about 1.5 lbs to 2.5 lbs), and can vary in color from a dark, rich chocolaty brown all the way up to a bright greyish color, and there is even a rare white possum that exists in isolated parts of rain forests strictly that are above 1 mile high on the Carbine Tableland. This nocturnal mammal lives off of moisture in the trees and thrives in high altitude climates. Their diet consists of fruit, leaves, and the dew of the canopies. They are a strictly arboreal species, only living and repopulating in mature canopies and rain forests. The most distinguishing feature of the possum is their eyeshine, which is silver for young possums and a bright yellow for adults.





How Are They Affected Now?

These friendly animals are at risk for death if they encounter any sustained temperature minimally above 86 degrees Fahrenheit in just five hours. Huge populations of ringtails have been wiped out in a matter of only a few days due to just even a .3 degree increase in temperature. This precious mammal may be the first to die as a direct cause of global climate change, a scary precedent that hasn't ever been set before. These species are not able to adapt to their surroundings quickly enough or well enough to cope with their delicate and easily influenced body temperatures, which they can no longer control if they are in distress or in heat shock. People unfortunately don't care enough or are unwilling to care enough to help conserve and preserve the hopefully remaining ringtail population. These poor mammals are second to last in priority on Australia's conservation efforts list, sadly, and many scientists have predicted that the populations are dying out rapidly, because they cannot repopulate and survive the summers, and because none of the mammals have been spotted since the heat wave of 2005 that struck the Mount Lewis cloud reserves. Unfortunately, we may be talking about an extinct species if the world doesn't shape up soon.





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