From the woods to the waters, from flora to fauna, global warming has taken a huge toll on our planet. The turmoil, mortals are encountering is gradually increasing to a great extent and as the time flows, the situation is going to get more worsened. Such a state of circumstance is being brought to the light in this writeup.
Many of us have drawn a great deal of inspiration from the famous childhood fable “The Tortoise and The Hare” comprehending its life-influencing moral “Slow and steady, wins the race”. But, what if a time comes when the name of these living species will remain merely in the list of extinct animals! Well, the present scenario has something in store that foresees the near future to be somewhat terrifying.
Considering the several effects of global warming, environmental reports have stated that around 99% of turtle hatchlings in Northern Australia are female because of the rising temperatures of sea and sand. Among the sea turtles, incubation temperatures above 29O C generally led to more number of female offspring births. The cooler temperatures yield more number of males at a lower temperature of around 23OC. Furthermore, if the eggs incubate within the temperature range of 23-29OC, there are certain increasing risks of mortality and embryo malformation.
Scientists have stated that the sex of the hatchlings is not determined when the mother turtle lays eggs. Sex of many aquatic living species including turtles, crocodiles and alligators is being determined by the sand’s temperature where the egg will incubate. A very specific temperature range creates a proper balance where 50% of the babies are born male and 50% female. A small reduced shift in the temperature range might end up in producing a 100% male offspring. On the contrary, a few degrees warmer might turn all into female offsprings.
While considering the current model of climate change, it has been reported that the average temperature will encounter a rise of 2-3OC approximately by the year 2100. The rise in average temperatures will result in sea-level rise and ocean expansion, thereby amplifying the risks associating with destruction of their nesting habitats.
This appalling environmental issue can be dealt with two approaches mainly:
● Identifying and protecting the places where higher proportion of males are born.
● Mitigating the effects in the nesting beaches which, are most endangered.
The sea turtles are flexible and have been living in this planet for more than 200 million years, enduring the effects of global warming in the past. However, the global scenario is changing fast. Apart from feminisation of sea turtles in Northern Australia, many humans have also been a threat for them, stigmatizing many problems such as poaching, by-catch, coastal development, intense human exploitation and habitat degradation. Thus, think rational, act rational to preserve a sustainable and balanced future for them.