Climate catastrophe — Almost exclusively female turtles hatch on Florida beaches.

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4 min readAug 13, 2022

Rising temperatures could threaten the survival of sea turtles. Experts in Florida are sounding the alarm that only females of these reptiles thrive in the heated sand. Researchers at one turtle care center have not seen a single male in four years.

[Photo by Belle Co from Pexels]

If we are talking about turtles, it should be noted that their sex depends on the temperature of the sand with which the laid eggs are surrounded. If it does not exceed 27o C, males hatch from the eggs. On the other hand, if it is higher than 31 degrees C, females are born. If the temperature fluctuates between these limits, some young turtles will be males and some will be females.

This information comes from the website of the US National Ocean Service, part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. You can also read on it that the warmer the sand on the beaches, the more females are born. This disturbs the sex ratio in different species of sea turtles and can be dangerous to their survival.

Bad news from Florida

Florida zoologists are convinced that this is true. Last week, staff at one of the hospitals caring for sea turtles in the state sounded the alarm that they had not seen a single male in the last four years. Only female turtles were born in the overheated sand.

“The scary thing is that the last four years in Florida have been record warm,” Bette Zirkelbach, a manager at the Turtle Hospital in the city of Marathon, located in the Florida Keys archipelago, told Reuters. — “Scientists who examined turtle eggs and the young that hatched from them during that time never once encountered a male,” she added.

This is not the first case of its kind in the world. I will cite here a study from 2018 when the 99% of turtles hatching on the northern end of the Great Barrier Reef at the time were females. In the southern part of the Reef, they made up about 65% of the population.

[Photo by Richard Segal from Pexels]

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