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

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

For the green sea turtles that hatched at the northern end of the Great Barrier Reef, something essential for their species' survival is missing: males. It could even mean the extinction of that group of animals, the biggest population of green sea turtles in the world. Instead, the researchers wrote, "In sea turtles, cooler temperatures produce more male hatchlings while warmer temperatures produce more females".

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

Environment temperatures play a key role in determining the sex of green turtles.

"Any variation on that of about one to two degrees, could risk producing all females or perhaps embryonic death". Turtles born farther south, along a cooler beach, are only about 65 percent female. 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. Turtles seem to target their breeding periods to times when the sand is slightly warmer than their pivot temperatures, resulting in populations moderately skewed female.

WWF-Australia CEO Dermot O'Gorman added: "These impacts show that the Great Barrier Reef really is at the frontline of climate change".

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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 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.

So, the researchers developed a new technique: Studying the turtles' hormones.Proving that the increasing temperatures actually changed the turtle population proved challenging, though. That's not normal and it's not good for sea turtle populations.

"This research is so important because it provides a new understanding of what these populations are dealing with", he said.

"The disconcerting thing is that we can now see how changes in the climate could affect the longevity of this and other sea turtle populations around the world", Michael Jensen, NOAA marine biologist and the study's lead author, said in a statement.

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