Warming warning over turtle feminization

From EurekAlert!

Public Release: 19-Dec-2018

Warming warning over turtle feminization

University of Exeter


Caption Green turtle hatchling. Credit University of Exeter Usage Restrictions This image may only be used with reports of this research

Up to 93% of green turtle hatchlings could be female by 2100, as climate change causes “feminisation” of the species, new research suggests.

The sex of turtle hatchlings is determined by temperature, and at present about 52% of hatching green turtles – one of seven species of sea turtle – are female.

But a study by the University of Exeter and the Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre (Portugal) shows that in warmer temperatures predicted by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scenarios, 76-93% of hatchlings would be female.

The figures are specific to the study site in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa, but researchers say they expect a similar picture globally.

They say the changing gender ratio would initially lead to more females nesting, increasing the population, before by a decline “as incubation temperatures approach lethal levels”.

They also predict rising sea levels will submerge 33-43% of current nesting areas used by green turtles on the beaches where the study was carried out.

“Green turtles are facing trouble in the future due to loss of habitats and increasing temperatures,” said Dr Rita Patricio, of the Centre for Ecology and Conservation on the University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus in Cornwall.

“Our results suggest the nesting population of green turtles the Bijagós Archipelago, Guinea-Bissau, will cope with the effects of climate change until 2100.

“Cooler temperatures, both at the end of the nesting season and in shaded areas, will guarantee some hatchlings are male.

“Although rising temperatures will lead to more female hatchlings – and 32-64% more nesting females by 2120 – mortality in eggs will also be higher in these warmer conditions.

“As temperatures continue to rise, it may become impossible for unhatched turtles to survive.”

The research team, which included the Institute of Biodiversity and Protected Areas of Guinea-Bissau, say nesting sites submerged by rising seas may not simply “move” inland.

“Beach retreat may be OK in some areas, but the turtles we studied were nesting on a small island (Poilão Island) so there is a limit to how far the beach can go,” Dr Patricio said.

“In other places there may be natural barriers or human constructions that stop beaches moving inland.”

The Bijagós Archipelago is the most important nesting place for green turtles in Africa, and the main breeding ground for the species in the South Atlantic.


The research was funded by the MAVA Foundation.

The paper, published in the journal Global Change Biology, is entitled: “Climate change resilience of a globally important sea turtle nesting population.”


79 thoughts on “Warming warning over turtle feminization

  1. More female turtles? More eggs laid!!!!! Keep the winning coming, DJT, America ain’t no ways tired yet.

    (Deleted around 10 comments below this one that were waaay off topic) MOD

      • They both enjoy it, what is your point? Green Turtles are going to increase in numbers, apparfently you think that is a bad thing. I don’t, they make excellent soup.

      • Look, Captain Buzzkill, we get it, the stick up your a$$ is more important than Green Turtles expanding their population so we can eat more of them. Get hip, dip, rumor-mongering is so 2018.

      • You best be able to keep up, they don’t like to be disappointed. You really have not figured any of this out yet, have you. Rather sad.

      • J. Philip Peterson December 24, 2018 at 6:28 pm

        PS is it OK if I grab your wife/girlfriend’s genitals?

        J. Philip, it appears you’ve fallen hard for the media misrepresentation. Read the post Quoted And Misquoted for the truth about what he said.


      • “J. Philip Peterson December 24, 2018 at 6:54 pm
        Please try to stay on topic. Clinton and Kennedy have nothing to do with what we are discussing. Of course your feeble attempt at diversion/deflection is pathetic, but then, you’ve got nothing. Your boy is out of control.”

        What an absurd notion!

        J. Phillip trollop drops way off topic ad hominems and then doubles down on the trollops insistence on perversion. Repeatedly

        Grow up little thing.

        Currently, Trump has done far more for American and her citizens than multiple previous POTUS have cumulatively achieved.

        Trade: Fixed and fixing.
        International Relations: Definitely getting straightened out.
        Terrorists: Even nations supporterrorism are getting the message.
        ISIS: Destroyed.
        Climate scam: Denounced and refused.
        Economy: Definitely improving!
        – – Real jobs are returning. After Obama claimed only Service jobs would increase for Americans,
        – – Unemployment at record low levels,
        – – Stock Market is still positive in spite of the Fed,
        – – Salaries are improving after years of stagnation,
        Military: Funded and being restored,
        Government regulatory burdens are massively reduced and getting further reduced,
        Government agencies’ overreach are getting corrected,
        Border Security: In progress, in spite of silly stupid progressives,
        Etc., etc., etc. Winning on multiple fronts.

        Addressing your way off topic thread abusive comment, Trump is an Angel compared to hordes of leftist elitist aggressive progressives; especially the Clintons. Both Clintons sold American uranium to Russia. Sooner or later they will be investigated properly by a neutral DOJ and prosecuted.

        Even after two years of nearly endless leftist fake news, they still do not have anything that diminishes Trump’s successes.

        J. Philip Peterson’s Trump Disorder Syndrome and fixation on Trump and women to the exclusion of dozens of Democrat offences against women.
        Again, grow up trollop.

        Look for a 2020 Trump Landslide!

        • I try to inject a bit of levity into what can often be a bit dry and humorless and JPP gets all triggered. Go figure.

        • “2hotel9 December 25, 2018 at 4:26 am
          I try to inject a bit of levity into what can often be a bit dry and humorless and JPP gets all triggered. Go figure.”

          It came looking for fake triggers. That’s why it kept trying to provoke you and everyone.

          Thank you for cleaning up our mess! I hope your Christmas was wonderful and your New Year is terrific for the next decade!

      • It is all on the way up. I have pointed out such inconsistencies to environwackadoddles I know and they immediately go off on some totally unrelated tangent, then completely change the subject. Funny how that works.

    • Certain conclusions are irrefutable, based on this study:

      – Stephen Vizinczey

      – Allan MacRae 🙂

      • No need for comedians anymore, just browsing what comes out of academia these days is absolutely hi-larious! And that they take themselves soooo seriously makes it all the better. Got family in parts of Floriduh where they have lighting restrictions during turtle hatching season, the lights confuse the turtles and they come inland. Problem, right? Solution, enlist groups of highschool kids and other volunteers, under the supervision of “scientists” and wildlife commission rangers, pick them up and carry them out into surf. Maybe even have wildlife and USCG boats a mile or so out shining lights towards the water to draw turtles out to sea. Only happens for a short period each year, could be done with minimal cost, hell, get the volunteers to pay for the privilege and it pays for itself! No, instead a raft of new laws were put in place and people actually get fined or dragged in front of a judge for having lights on, on their property.

        There are some serious problems in the world, climate ain’t one of them.

    • Assuming this is true, don’t you suppose that it is an programmed evolutionary adaptation to make more egg layers presuming better warmth and food conditions? Also possible as a response to more jellyfish for some species? Not All news is automatically bad unless that’s all you look for.

      • That temperature changes can influence the ratio of male to female hatchlings in the nests of certain reptiles has been known for a long time.
        Has there ever been a study that shows that this rate of change remains constant regardless of how much the temperature changes?
        That is, if a temperature change of 1C changes the ratio by X%, does a 10C temperature change result in a ratio change of 10X%?

      • I see it as good news, more turtles, more to eat. An over population can easily be handled by increasing catch limits. I could see a successful restaurant chain coming out of this. Only environwackjobs see this as bad news. Too bad it is most likely not true, just another envirohoax.

    • Are they in skimpy swimsuits?!?! Long as it is turtle on turtle we cool. No weird inter-species stuff, FB and twitter and tmblr frown on that stuff, now at least.

      • Meanwhile, back at the Turtles, all the way down:


        The most widely known version, which obviously is not the source (see below), appears in Stephen Hawking’s 1988 book A Brief History of Time, which starts:

        A well-known scientist (some say it was Bertrand Russell) once gave a public lecture on astronomy. He described how the earth orbits around the sun and how the sun, in turn, orbits around the center of a vast collection of stars called our galaxy. At the end of the lecture, a little old lady at the back of the room got up and said: “What you have told us is rubbish. The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise.” The scientist gave a superior smile before replying, “What is the tortoise standing on?” “You’re very clever, young man, very clever,” said the old lady. “But it’s tortoises all the way down!”
        —Hawking, 1988[1]

        In 1905, Oliver Corwin Sabin, Bishop of the Evangelical Christian Science Church, wrote:
        The old original idea which was enunciated first in India, that the world was flat and stood on the back of an elephant, and the elephant did not have anything to stand on was the world’s thought for centuries. That story is not as good as the Richmond negro preachers who said the world was flat and stood on a turtle. They asked him what the turtle stood on and he said another turtle, and they asked what that turtle stood on and he said another turtle, and finally they got him in a hole and he said. “I tell you there are turtles all the way down.”
        —Sabin, 1905[2]

        Many 20th-century attributions point to William James as the source.[3][4] James referred to the fable of the elephant and tortoise several times, but told the infinite regress story with “rocks all the way down” in his 1882 essay, “Rationality, Activity and Faith”.[5] In the form of “rocks all the way down”, the story predates James to at least 1838.[6]
        In 1854 the story in the current form appears, attributed by bible skeptic Joseph Barker to preacher Joseph Frederick Berg:
        My opponent’s reasoning reminds me of the heathen, who, being asked on what the world stood, replied, “On a tortoise.” But on what does the tortoise stand? “On another tortoise.” With Mr. Barker, too, there are tortoises all the way down.
        —Barker, 1854[7]

        There is an allusion to the story in David Hume’s Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion (published in 1779):
        How can we satisfy ourselves without going on in infinitum? And, after all, what satisfaction is there in that infinite progression? Let us remember the story of the Indian philosopher and his elephant. It was never more applicable than to the present subject. If the material world rests upon a similar ideal world, this ideal world must rest upon some other; and so on, without end. It were better, therefore, never to look beyond the present material world.
        —Hume, 1779[8]

        • More on planet Earth resting on “Turtles, all the way down…”

          There is some merit in this concept, but it is not about Earth or turtles, it’s about global warming alarmism and fears of wilder weather, aka “warmist hysteria”.

          Warmist hysteria started long ago with one nonsense paper, which stated that climate sensitivity to increasing atmospheric CO2 was about 5-10x higher than reality, probably written by Arhenius circa 1900. Later, political opportunists saw this fiction as a means of obtaining wealth and power, and issued zillions in grants to academics to write papers on every possible subject related to global warming alarmism and the dangers of increased atmospheric CO2. Nonsense piled upon nonsense, until modern academic research was an enormous stack of nonsense papers, piled one upon the other, which now reaches to infinity – and it’s nonsense, all the way down.

  2. …And 48% of hatching green turtles are very excited that 52% of hatching green turtles are female – – – as determined by my own study of hatching green turtles…

  3. You cannot fathom nor understand the powers of climate change. Just ask us. Man and all the animals and plants on the planet can’t cope. Just send money.

    • But the rest of it was so funny! Especially how they are so earnest about it.(my apologies to Jim Varney)

    • Illiteracy, particularly in subjects mathematical ,keep the educated but ignorant projecting doom from linear extrapolations of cycles.
      Why they did not use 97% is completely beyond me,as it would be more in keeping with that fine piece of satire AKA “News Release”.
      Oh wait.
      This was not satire?

    • “Is in in far enough baby?”
      “No. Not yet. Go all the way down!”

      So that is what they really meant when they said it was turtles…all the way down?

  4. From 2014 https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/5991/e215e48173c1f4954ee1b695880865688949.pdf

    “…Based on early literature reviews, the maximum thermal tolerance of sea turtle embryos
    is frequently cited as either 33 or 35°C. In many sea turtle populations, however, nest temperatures
    often exceed 35°C by up to several degrees…

    …To complicate matters, developing embryos may change their thermal tolerance as they
    grow. Overall, we are only beginning to understand how exposure to high temperatures experienced
    in the field influences embryonic development and hatchling production. This knowledge
    gap is hampering our ability to predict the impacts of climate change on sea turtle populations…”

    The above paper references a number of articles which project complete feminization by 2070…so up to 93% by 2100 means things are looking up.

  5. As a substitute high school teacher, I don’t know about global warming and turtles but I can tell you that the MSM, educational system and society in general are feminizing our young boys! I substitute taught 15-20 years ago when my kids were in school and remember what it was like when I was in school. The change in our boys is very noticeable today. Some good and a lot of bad.

  6. “Their native range includes tropical to subtropical waters along continental coasts and islands between 30°N and 30°S. ”

    So much of the world’s oceans are too cold for them, nowhere too hot.
    Warming will expand their range and increase their numbers.
    They have successfully thrived through much warmer periods in the geological past.
    To say they do not have instinctive ways to adjust their sex ratio is hard to believe
    when their current range includes widely varying temperatures.

  7. In 2100 the AMO will be negative and therefore the temperature will likely be lower than it is right now. Oh wait, they’re talking about virtual Earth, not the real one.

  8. From the study’s abstract:

    Under IPCC models…”

    So once again, running a “model” with tuned parameters to artificially “match” real data, but no actual data inputs to the model, and using the output from that model as “input data” for your own model, without allowing any contamination by actual empirical data, and publishing those results as “research”…?…!…?…!…. I’m really not sure what you call that, but you can’t call it “Science”. *shrug*

    • You could call it ‘Science Fiction’, but most good SF has at least some basis in facts.
      File under ‘Fantasy’. Along with all the other ‘by 2100…’ predictions from the PlayStation Models of Doom.

  9. Climate change – is there anything it can’t do? (Hat tip to Homer Simpson)

    And it does it all on .006 degrees C per year! If you can believe the temperature records (pro tip: You can’t)…

  10. So never mind the gay frogs, now it’s global warming caused the trans-turtles?
    Nice one, Skippy. Alex Jones would be proud.

    Happy Christmas y’all.

  11. “Up to 93% of green turtle hatchlings could be female by 2100, as climate change causes “feminisation” of the species, new research suggests.”

    That is a recipe for vast overpopulation of Green Sea Turtles. The problem being?

  12. Sea levels and maximum temperatures were both higher during the Eemian interglacial.
    Current popular turtle beaches were metres underwater.
    Turtles coped.

  13. Actually, if you read the fine print, it seems to say that 93% of the green turtle hatchlings could self-identify as female by 21000 …


  14. Another completely bogus climate alarm study.

    The following is from another study on sea turtles.
    “It is now widely known that male and female sea turtles mate with several partners
    during a breeding season (Pearce & Avise, 2001), reducing the need
    for balanced operational sex ratios.”

    So the turtles get it on with many partners ehhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    If it was widely known , why didn’t these researchers know it?

    A 52-48 ratio is probably the historical ratio anyway. Therefore this study had no evidence of anything except computer models again. These researchers shoyuld have their Phd’s stripped from them.

    • Ya know, I’m not sure about climate change causing a shift in the sex of turtle hatchlings, but I’m quite sure that climate change is making a large segment of those that identify as “scientists” dumber than a post.

  15. “Up to 93% of green turtle hatchlings could be female by 2100, as climate change causes “feminisation” of the species, new research suggests.

    But a study by the University of Exeter and the Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre (Portugal) shows that in warmer temperatures predicted by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scenarios, 76-93% of hatchlings would be female.

    They also predict rising sea levels will submerge 33-43% of current nesting areas used by green turtles on the beaches where the study was carried out.”

    So, this study encompassed turtle nest temperatures and sea levels…?

    Sure they did.

    It appears they conflate many issues and claims to reach their predetermined conclusions.

    Somehow, the “The research team, which included the Institute of Biodiversity and Protected Areas of Guinea-Bissau and the study performed at University of Exeter and the Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre (Portugal)”, assumed IPCC atmospheric temperatures are turtle nesting temperatures.

    These characters also assumed IPCC failed temperature models for the distant future along with the IPCC’s imaginary sea level increases, are viable alarums to frighten people.

    A fraction of a &deg,C degree increase in atmospheric temperature does not equate to subsurface land temperatures.

    “The research team, which included the Institute of Biodiversity and Protected Areas of Guinea-Bissau, say nesting sites submerged by rising seas may not simply “move” inland.”

    Once again, deluded money hungry grant dependents fail to recognize that these turtles survived many warmer periods. Instead, these researchers assume that turtle survival is fragile, static and immutable.

    What is apparently immutable are the researcher gross assumptions and failure to identify how turtles have survived much warmer Earth periods.

  16. shows that in warmer temperatures predicted by IPCC scenarios

    Nothing to worry about then, is there?

    • Now that the eggnog has worn off back to turtles. A freeze occurred in January, 2011, which stunned unsuspected numbers of green turtles (500 saved, 30 killed) (Brownsville Herald, February 4, 2011). Green turtles were a big industry on the Texas coast late in the 19th century, even more than longhorns. Sea turtles are a success story. It is something to see them bury their eggs, now watched and protected in many places. The lay them early before hurricane season. Green turtles are vegetarians, ridleys and others predators. Some human damage from increasing turbidity.

      If they got off their computers and measured sand temperatures it might help. No telling what is going on out there during the holidays.

  17. Does Global Warming explain the increasing feminization of Homo Sapiens in Brighton, one of the warmest cities in Britain?

  18. In contrast to this infantile fiction, one of the most serious cases of marine animals suffering disturbance to reproductive physiology was the linked to the earlier use of tributyl tin (TBT) as an antifoulant paint on boats and yachts.


    The problem with TBT was that it was too effective. It affected shellfish such as oysters by causing male sex organs to grow on female individuals. I remember lectures on TBT in my marine biology university studies during the ‘80s. What was remarkable about the gender-bending effects of TBT was the very low levels at which it was active – they were at the level of parts per trillion, ppt. It caused initially confusion among marine biologists and students in the field, as they tried to identify the gender of shellfish in the wild.

    Of course with current political trends on US university campuses (campi), maybe it’s time for TBT to come back into fashion.

    • Considering that oysters change their sex frequently with rationale, cause and process still relatively unknown.

      “<a href="Oyster sex determination is influenced by temperature — First clues in spat during first gonadic differentiation and gametogenesis"
      Christelle Santerre, Pascal Sourdaine, Nicolas Marc, Christian Mingant, René Robert, Anne-Sophie Martinez

      The sex-determining system of Crassostrea gigas is still poorly known, especially regarding the potential influence of temperature"

      Sounds like more eco-loons inventing ecological damage against products they hate.

  19. People actually get paid to do “research” like that?

    Spot the bullshit:

    (a) take the highest temperatures and sea level rise IPCC predicts – despite the fact that even their lowest predictions have failed so far

    (b) take a low island that is certain to be inundated at sea level rise (a) and extrapolate that “data” to global proportions

    and you can spread the panic: green turtles will first feminize, then cook, and then they will have nowhere to lay their eggs (whichever order you like).

    And as always, there is a grain of truth in the whole hogwash: sex ration of hatched green turtles does indeed depend on temperature of the sand (where the eggs are buried) – well, not just for green turtles, but for all turtles, and crocodiles, and … (hey, maybe there are more articles in this vein: “Warming warning over crocodile feminization”, …). Yet this strategy has served them well: turtles predate dinosaurs, present-style crocodiles are at least 55 mil. years old, so they have already survived some 5-8 C warmer Earth than what we have today.

    But as we have repeatedly learned from such inane research, these people do not consult history.

  20. Makes sense that a warming climate would spur more egg-laying.
    Warmer climate = more available food = larger sustainable turtle population.
    What’s not to like?

    • Of course the whole thing is based on an assumption that the oceans will continue to warm. Best I can tell the opposite is starting to occur.

  21. Alarum-types keep recirculating old impact stuff every ten years. I think I have detected a cycle or recycle period in climate. Dare I call it the Pearse cycle? One could say they have confused the turtle with a chestnut.

  22. If these “researchers” had just discovered that “The sex of turtle hatchlings is determined by temperature”, and this was a change in their life cycle that had only recently developed, within that past 1000 years or so, they might have something of importance to write about. There might be some valid concern about warming seas and/or rising sea levels. However, since sea turtles have apparently been reproducing the same way for around 100 Million years, while entire continents have risen and submerged and the oceans have warmed and cooled far more than what might happen by 2100, this is all complete bull5h1t (and a complete waste of my time on Christmas Day).

    Merry Christmas to all.

  23. They say the changing gender ratio would initially lead to more females nesting, increasing the population, before by a decline “as incubation temperatures approach lethal levels”.

    They also predict rising sea levels –>

    and turtles being that dumb after 100 of millions of years evolution not to know where to nest and return to however risen sea level strands.

  24. It could also be a consequence of Wolbachia infecting colonies. The next big story will be the whales cubs are missing.
    With a perfect bogeyman (climate) who needs real reasons?!?

  25. I call massive bullshit.

    I’ve once checked on this and found many news articles that were about other male species turning into females.

    IMO, what is happening is that we are somehow putting chemicals in the environment that is causing these species to feminize.

    Think this is also affecting us because my doctor told me that men’s T levels in thie later years used to be much higher several decades ago.

  26. So there are more female turtles and therefore more turtles hatched if the weather is warmer.
    Sounds like a positive response to warmer climes.

  27. The female population in all species increasing than male. This change disturbing the natural proportion of the population it is at high risk in Future.

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