Of all the potential consequences of climate change—rising sea levels, desertification, floods—here’s one that may not be on your radar: climate change is producing an abundance of female turtles. As Helen Davidson at The Guardian reports, according to a new study, warmer sands in a certain section of beach along The Great Barrier Reef have caused more than 99 percent of green sea turtles to hatch as female.
The sex of sea turtle hatchlings is not dependent on the passing down of chromosomes, like in humans. Rather, sea turtle sex is a function of incubation temperature. As Ben Guarino at The Washington Post reports, at roughly 85 degrees Fahrenheit, turtle nests produce equal amounts of males and females. A tad cooler and the clutch leans male. A little warmer and embryos develop as females.
But in a new study in the journal Current Biology, researchers found that recent warming has led to an abundance of female turtles in …