The white lemuroid possum may soon hold a brand-new world title: First species to go extinct due to climate change.
In December 2009, scientists reported that the possum is missing from its only home in the mountain forests of northern Queensland, Australia. It hasn’t been seen there in three years. A slight temperature rise (of only 1 or 2 degrees) is likely the reason: The possum typically dies in as few as four or five hours at 86 degrees Fahrenheit.
What is the sound of ten million butterfly wings? I found the answer to that Zen-like question in the forests of the central Mexico highlands. Here in a few remote stands of tall oyamel firs lie the ancestral wintering grounds of the monarch butterfly, undiscovered by researchers till 1975.