It has been known for a long time that global warming has a negative impact on species and ecosystems, but scientists were surprised to discover how much it could affect the sexual distribution of sea turtles! On Raine Island, off Australia, more than 99% of green turtles are females, how is that possible?
For marine turtles, the incubation temperature of the egg determines the sex of the unborn animal, low temperatures (below 29.3 ° C) favor the birth of males, and high temperatures that of females. However, on this small island, the average temperature of sand has increased significantly over the last 20 years. In a study, looking at calculating the impact of climate warming on the ratio of males and females in green turtles, researcher Camryn Allen and his team found that during this period, 99.8% turtles born there were females.
The consequences of these modifications are not known, the effects of this imbalance will not emerge until about fifty years, with the aging of the populations. But scientists are worried because reptiles species may also be affected by the same problem! In the meantime, it is possible to mitigate this phenomenon, either by creating shaded areas on the beaches on which the turtles come to lay, or by cooling the sand by wetting it regularly.