Image of the Day: A Turtle’s Reaction to Climate Change

When most of us think of sea turtles and the human-related threats they face, entanglement in fishing gear often comes to mind. And though that may be one of the larger threats the species face, climate change is another that research shows should not be ignored. The reason for this, says Environment News Service (ENS), is temperature plays a key role in the health and sex of baby turtles. Warmer temperatures during incubation produce females while cooler conditions produce males.

According to a study which analyzed 26 years of loggerhead turtle nesting and climate data and compared the findings with models for future temperatures, an increase of just 1° Celsius could completely eliminate the birth of male turtles from some beaches while a rise of 3° Celsius would lead to extreme levels of infant mortality and declines in nesting beaches across the U.S. 

Credit: Eric Cheng/Solent