Almost all green sea turtle hatchlings may be female by 2100

As warming temperatures alter their sex, as much as 93 percent of green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) hatchlings could be female by 2100, according to a recent study. Currently about 52 percent of hatchlings are female, but researchers found that climate change scenarios could push that up significantly throughout the century. They also warn of rising sea levels submerging turtle nesting areas. Sea turtle sex is determined not by chromosomes but by egg temperature in the ground. “Because in the last hundred years the planet has been warming at an alarming rate, and it will continue to warm, at an even faster pace, natural incubation temperatures are becoming warmer, and sea turtle sex ratios are becoming more skewed towards females,” Rita Patricio, lead author of the study from the University of Exeter and the Portugal’s Marine Environmental Sciences Center, told Newsweek.

Read more from Newsweek, or read the study in Global Change Biology.

Header Image: Warming temperatures are skewing green sea turtles’ sex ratio. ©University of Exeter