Rising Temperatures Cause Twofold Trouble for Green Sea Turtles

Amazingly, the ambient temperature around a buried green sea turtle egg influences the turtle’s gender. The warmer it gets, the more likely the baby will be female. Research conducted by the University of Exeter (United Kingdom) on eggs in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa, suggest rising global temperatures will change the sex ratio in favor of more females, from the current 52 percent female to between 76 and 93 percent female by the end of 2100. Initially, the researchers say, this will lead to more sea turtles being born, as there will be more females laying eggs. But over time, a scarcity of males will take its toll. It is also predicted that rising sea levels will submerge 33 to 43 percent of the nesting areas currently used by the Guinea-Bissau turtles. If this is replicated for other sea turtle nesting sites, their future looks very uncertain.