strange behaviors

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  • Richard Conniff

  • Reviews for Richard Conniff’s Books

    Every Creeping Thing: True Tales of Faintly Repulsive Wildlife: “Conniff is a splendid writer–fresh, clear, uncondescending, and with never a false step; one can’t resist quoting him.” (NY Times Book Review)

    The Species Seekers:  Heroes, Fools, and the Mad Pursuit of Life on Earth by Richard Conniff is “a swashbuckling romp” that “brilliantly evokes that just-before Darwin era” (BBC Focus) and “an enduring story bursting at the seams with intriguing, fantastical and disturbing anecdotes” (New Scientist). “This beautifully written book has the verve of an adventure story” (Wall St. Journal)

    Swimming with Piranhas at Feeding Time by Richard Conniff  is “Hilariously informative…This book will remind you why you always wanted to be a naturalist.” (Outside magazine) “Field naturalist Conniff’s animal adventures … are so amusing and full color that they burst right off the page …  a quick and intensely pleasurable read.” (Seed magazine) “Conniff’s poetic accounts of giraffes drifting past like sail boats, and his feeble attempts to educate Vervet monkeys on the wonders of tissue paper will leave your heart and sides aching.  An excellent read.” (BBC Focus magazine)

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Posts Tagged ‘global warming’

Loose Lips Alert: First Mammal to Go Extinct From Global Warming?

Posted by Richard Conniff on December 9, 2008

What’s the handsome mammal with plush white fur that is most threatened by global warming?  If you’re thinking of Alaska’s polar bear, think tropical Queensland Australia instead.

The lemuroid ring-tailed possum (Hemibelideus lemuroides) already appears to may have vanished from its  narrow 1200-square-mile habitat in two mountaintop cloudforests there.  These house cat-size marsupials, which come in both white and brown varieties, live at the top of old growth forests.  They’re active only at night. So they’ve never been particularly easy to see.  But researchers working with spotlights have not been able to locate one since 2005.

“It is not looking good,” researcher Steve Williams told the Brisbane Courier-Mail  [N.B.  He says now this was an off-hand remark to a reporter, not an official assessment.  See follow-up below.]  “If they have died out it would be first example of something that has gone extinct purely because of global warming.”  He’s planning another effort early next year to locate animals in the Carbine range three hours north of Cairns.  The possums, which have small gliding membranes and use their prehensile tails as rudders when soaring from tree to tree, have never been kept in captivity. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Greenhouse Gas That Nobody Knew

Posted by Richard Conniff on November 13, 2008

This is a piece I wrote for Yale Environment 360:

Hypothetical question: You’re heartsick about global warming, so you’ve just paid $25,000 to put a solar system on the roof of your home. How do you respond to news that it was manufactured with a chemical that is 17,000 times stronger than carbon dioxide as a cause of global warming?

It may sound like somebody’s idea of a bad joke. But last month, a study from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography reported that nitrogen trifluoride (NF3), with a global warming potential of 17,000, is now present in the atmosphere at four times the expected level and rapidly rising. Use of NF3 is currently booming, for products from computer chips and flats-screen LCDs to thin-film solar photovoltaics, an economical and increasingly popular solar power format.

Moreover, the Kyoto Protocol, which limits a half-dozen greenhouse gases, does not cover NF3. Read the rest of this entry »

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