Climate Change Affecting the Sex Ratio of Florida’s Baby Loggerheads

Amita Vadlamudi is a longtime IT professional with extensive experience in designing computer systems. With a passion for protecting the environment, Amita Vadlamudi has a strong interest in the intersections between climate, weather, and the earth’s ecosystems.

Many scientists agree that climate change is already having a significant impact on widlife, with walrus and polar bear habitats particularly affected. A recent discovery is that global warming may also be impacting the sex ratio among baby loggerhead turtles in Florida.

Sea turtles are a species that develop into females and males while incubating within eggs. Temperature is a major factor in determining the sex of the offspring, with temperatures of 84 degrees and lower favoring the development of males. Higher temperatures are more conducive to females being born. With global temperatures on a marked increase, Florida Atlantic University biological scientists are taking a serious look at how both temperature and rainfall (which may exert a cooling effect) affected sex ratios among baby loggerheads. The finding is that extremely hot years over the past decade have produced 90 to 95 percent baby female populations.

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