Warming Temperatures Can Make 93% Of Green Sea Turtle Hatchlings Female By 2100

The future if sea turtles us looking very female, which could drive these species to extinction.

Up to 93% of green turtle hatchlings could be female by 2100, as climate change causes “feminisation” of the species, new research suggests.

The sex of turtle hatchlings is determined by temperature, and at present about 52% of hatching green turtles—one of seven species of sea turtle—are female.

But a study by the University of Exeter and the Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre (Portugal) shows that in warmer temperatures predicted by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scenarios, 76-93% of hatchlings would be female.

The figures are specific to the study site in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa, but researchers say they expect a similar picture globally.

They say the changing gender ratio would initially lead to more females nesting, increasing the population, before by a decline “as incubation temperatures approach lethal levels”.

They also predict rising sea levels will submerge 33-43% of current nesting areas used by green turtles on the beaches where the study was carried out.

Read Full Story: Phys.org/University of Exeter

Photo: Alfonso Navarro/Unsplash

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