Rising temperature affecting the hatching process of green sea turtles: researchers said

Turtle Hatchling

The feminization of a population of about 200,000 turtles along the east coast of Queensland, Australia, has scientists concerned about its survival.

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"Any variation on that of about one to two degrees, could risk producing all females or perhaps embryonic death".

With average global temperature predicted to increase 4.7 Fahrenheit (2.6 Celsius) by 2100, "many sea turtle populations are in danger of high egg mortality and female-only offspring production", said the report.

Sea turtles from warmer northern beaches leaned even more heavily female, with 86.8 per cent of adult turtles, 99.8 per cent of sub-adult turtles, and 99.1 per cent of juvenile turtles turning out to be female.

The new research paper was published in journal Current Biology, and it was conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration, California State University and Worldwide Fund for Nature Australia.

A shift of just a few degrees can have big impacts on sex outcomes in sea turtles.

Unlike anatomical exams at nesting beaches used to determine the sex of individual hatchlings, the new study used an innovative combination of endocrinology and genetics to assess the sex of hundreds of turtles across a large foraging ground.

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While in the warmer northern tip of the Reef, female green turtles accounted for a staggering 87 to 99.8 per cent of the population.

Down in the cooler south, the population was 65 percent to 69 percent female.

Scientists said: "Combining our results with temperature data show that the (warmer) northern GBR green turtle rookeries have been producing primarily females for more than two decades and that the complete feminisation of this population is possible in the near future".

The researchers stated that the green sea turtles in northern Great Barrier Reef are producing more females since many years. Notwithstanding influencing sex result of the turtles, higher temperatures additionally increment death rate sums turtle posterity.

"Knowing what the sex ratios in the adult breeding population are today and what they might look like five, 10 and 20 years from now when these young turtles grow up and become adults is going to be incredibly valuable".

Green sea turtles are already considered endangered, with the latest findings posing a dire new threat to the future of the species. Sea turtle gender is dependent on the incubation temperature while a turtle is an embryo, a characteristic common in some reptiles. The species and ecosystems in the world more affected by Climate change.

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