Big Data: How climate change is causing the ‘feminization’ of the green turtle

Turtle underwater touching water surface with flipper, closeup portrait on blue water background

93 percent — That’s the proportion of green turtle hatchlings that could be female by 2100, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Exeter in England and the Environmental Sciences Center in Portugal. The sex of hatchlings is determined by temperature. Based on the climate change scenarios laid out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, researchers expect 76 to 93 percent of hatchlings to be female by the end of the century. The “feminization” of the species is just one of several looming problems for the green turtle. Researchers say higher temperatures will push incubation temperatures to near “lethal levels,” even as rising seas wash away nesting areas.