Sci-tech

Global warming has turned nearly all Great Barrier Reef sea turtles female

Global warming has turned nearly all Great Barrier Reef sea turtles female

The vast majority of green sea turtles in the northern Great Barrier Reef are now female because of warmer temperatures due to climate change, which influences their sex during incubation, researchers said Monday.

Biologists consider 84.74 degrees Fahrenheit to be the pivotal temperature for green sea turtles to be born a mixture of female and males.

Most green sea turtles monitored in the Great Barrier Reef are female and have been for more than two decades, marine scientists found.

When a sea turtle lays a clutch of eggs, the sex of the embryos inside have not yet been determined.

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Researchers collected 411 turtles from the southern barrier reef, where waters are cooler, as well as from the warmer northern reef to determine how the population was affected by temperature changes.

"Any variation on that of about one to two degrees, could risk producing all females or perhaps embryonic death". They found that more than 2,00,000 animals were female in the northern group, in the southern group the female population was 65 to 69 percent. The reader's can rely on the content at their own will. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability, data, text, images, video, messages, or any other material whatsoever or for any claims/loss/action that the reader may suffer as a result of relying on the content on our site. A few days ago, a report was published by some researchers stating that global warming is now greatly affecting the coral reefs and they have come to the stage of extinction.

"One possibility is shade cloth erected over key nesting beaches, like at Raine Island, to lower nest temperatures to produce more males", he said. The results also raise new questions about the risks for marine turtles worldwide, as well as other temperature-dependent species including alligators and iguanas.

If this trend continues, the turtle populations are likely to collapse, he warned.

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Green sea turtles are already considered endangered, with the latest findings posing a dire new threat to the future of the species.

The study "provides a new understanding of what these populations are dealing with", he said.

For now, the important matter is to look into the current sex ratios in the adult breeding population, and what they might look like after some years from now when these young turtles grow up, Jansen stated.

Stephen Cornelius, WWF chief advisor on climate change, highlighted the "ripple effects" of global warming, emphasising the role the world as a whole can have in helping Australian turtles.

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