Turtles Must Go North to Survive


By Paul Homewood

h/t Ian Magness

Pinky and Perky to emigrate to North Pole:

Joe Pinkstone is one of the new generation of journalists, who do not bother checking the facts and naively believe every silly scare story thrown their way. A few years ago, for instance, he told us that lager prices would double because severe droughts caused by climate change were going to decimate barley fields.

If he had bothered to actually read this new report, he would have found out that the authors were not saying turtles would be forced north, rather that their range would expand northwards. Sure, there may be some regional changes, but these would be caused by long term changes in precipitation. And as the authors admit, projections of precipitation trends are notoriously untrustworthy.

Bear in mind that the study looks at non-marine turtles, I doubt whether any of us have seen hordes of turtles heading up the M1, given that we are already 1C warmer than the Little Ice Age.


Here is a link to the study


  • Non-marine turtles invaded higher paleolatitudes several times in the past
  • Non-marine turtles reached their highest latitudes in the Cenomanian and Eocene
  • Occupation of high paleolatitudes is projected at extreme emission scenarios
  • Human occupation at high latitudes may prevent turtle adaptation to climate change


Past responses to environmental change provide vital baseline data for estimating the potential resilience of extant taxa to future change. Here, we investigate the latitudinal range contraction that terrestrial and freshwater turtles (Testudinata) experienced from the Late Cretaceous to the Paleogene (100.5–23.03 mya) in response to major climatic changes. We apply ecological niche modeling (ENM) to reconstruct turtle niches, using ancient and modern distribution data, paleogeographic reconstructions, and the HadCM3L climate model to quantify their range shifts in the Cretaceous and late Eocene. We then use the insights provided by these models to infer their probable ecological responses to future climate scenarios at different representative concentration pathways (RCPs 4.5 and 8.5 for 2100), which project globally increased temperatures and spreading arid biomes at lower to mid-latitudes. We show that turtle ranges are predicted to expand poleward in the Northern Hemisphere, with decreased habitat suitability at lower latitudes, inverting a trend of latitudinal range contraction that has been prevalent since the Eocene. Trionychids and freshwater turtles can more easily track their niches than Testudinidae and other terrestrial groups. However, habitat destruction and fragmentation at higher latitudes will probably reduce the capability of turtles and tortoises to cope with future climate changes.

The entire study is open access and available here.

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December 23, 2022 6:02 am

They’re going to have to learn how to ice skate.

Bryan A
Reply to  Scissor
December 23, 2022 6:42 am

I’m sure if the situation were reversed and turtles were being driven south by the same but opposite mechanism (a cooling earth) they (pseudo scientific reporters) would still be bleating about climate change affecting the turtles ability to survive as their ponds freeze over

Last edited 1 month ago by Bryan A
Reply to  Bryan A
December 23, 2022 7:09 pm

And it would still be our fault, through our CO2 emissions.

Bryan A
Reply to  Hivemind
December 23, 2022 11:13 pm

Any church would never waste the threat of punishment for the sin of emission

Bryan A
Reply to  Scissor
December 23, 2022 3:20 pm

Alaska needs to start importing Turtle Wax

Reply to  Scissor
December 23, 2022 4:43 pm

Humans initially evolved in the African savannah… its still there but we went everywhere, it was the brain development that was behind that not because we had legs

December 23, 2022 6:14 am

Save the turtles!

Bryan A
Reply to  antigtiff
December 23, 2022 6:45 am

Why can’t we just be Happy Together

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Bryan A
December 23, 2022 6:56 am

ah, the good old days- not so much The Turtles, but ’67, the year I graduated from high school- seems like yesterday- where did that 55 years go?

Reply to  Bryan A
December 23, 2022 9:18 am

Thank you, that blast from the past made me smile.

Mark Whitney
December 23, 2022 6:16 am

I saw a herd of turtles heading South when I was kid. Their trying to cross the Interstate in Kansas was a hideous sight

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Mark Whitney
December 23, 2022 7:55 am

When I was a kid living in rural Virginia, I would make my parents stop every time we saw a turtle crossing the road (well I would TRY to make them stop). So I’d have the occasional turtle in a box at home for a short time, before letting them go again.

Once, we came across a turtle crossing the road. When I got up to him, I could see his shell had been shattered, and healed in its shattered state. It was pretty amazing. He was perfectly normal other than that. It was like someone took pieces of a turtle shell and badly glued them together, and put the turtle back inside.

Reply to  Mark Whitney
December 23, 2022 9:14 am

… Bale of turtles (not herd).

(I would have expected Jeff to correct you 🙂

Mark Whitney
Reply to  DonM
December 24, 2022 7:13 am

Thanks Don. I wondered what the proper term was, but it was more a reference to the slang “Off like a herd of turtles” I heard once or twice. True story, however. There were hundreds, maybe thousands of them.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  DonM
December 31, 2022 8:32 am

Sorry, I’m not up on my animal grouping terminology.

Reply to  Mark Whitney
December 23, 2022 9:57 am

In Germany there was a species of frog in the foothills and low mountains of the Alps that migrated down to the valleys to where the water was to breed and procreate. Of course roads run down along the valleys also and in places the frogs would have to cross those roads to get to the bodies of water they headed for.

So the Germans set up frog fences that funneled the frogs to little tile tunnels that ran under the roads built specifically for that purpose.

As for turtles? When ever I see one alive on the road I stop if I possibly can and put them put the animal on the side they were facing towards. That can be interesting when it’s a big snapper.

December 23, 2022 6:21 am

Turtles can calculate that -30 at pole, +30 at equator, over 10,000 km distance…woohoo…they can colonize ponds 166 km further north with another degree of warming. About the distance from Bismarck to Minot, North Dakota….

Mike McMillan
Reply to  DMacKenzie
December 23, 2022 9:25 am

Nobody goes from Bismarck to Minot.

Reply to  Mike McMillan
December 23, 2022 10:01 am

Especially right now I suspect. They got slammed as usual. Here in central Indiana it was -10 F here this morning and the windchill was -39. We get the full effect where I live because of the large farm fields to the west and north west of us. I’m just thankful that we only lost power for about an hour this morning. I was out buying RV anti-freeze to flush down the toilets when the wife called and said the power was back on.

Reply to  Mike McMillan
December 23, 2022 11:30 am

I bet most of those trucks aren’t running because the fuel jelled.

Buried in snow, semi truck drivers spend days trapped at South Dakota fuel stop (foxweather.com)

December 23, 2022 6:45 am

“Joe Pinkstone is one of the new generation of…” hacktivists. I can’t find his [scientific] qualifications anywhere, so I’m assuming he doesn’t have any. After all, as the actress said, if you’ve got it, flaunt it. Michael Mann does. Pinkstone doesn’t.

“Turtles Must Go North to Survive”

Which flies in the face of what the Government’s expert, Sir David King, was telling us:

Why Antarctica will soon be the ‘only’ place to live – literally.

Antarctica is likely to be the world’s only habitable continent by the end of this century if global warming remains unchecked, the Government’s chief scientist, Professor Sir David King, said 


King’s words have passed the Grauniad by, too.

Climate Crisis
Emperor penguin at risk of extinction, along with two-thirds of native Antarctic species, research shows
International study projects up to 80% of emperor penguin colonies will be ‘quasi-extinct’ by 2100


So, are you ready for a stiff dose of realism? Nobody has to move anywhere. The press do have to move a few newspapers, though.

Joseph Zorzin
December 23, 2022 6:54 am

“Joe Pinkstone is one of the new generation of journalists, who do not bother checking the facts and naively believe every silly scare story thrown their way.”

Maybe Pinkstone did read it and understands it but he just lying to the reader- if it bleeds it reads. After all he’s “the science correspondent” so very few people will read the original research. Only “deniers” at WUWT. 🙂

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
December 23, 2022 7:12 am

I prefer the term (my pronoun is…) ‘heretic’.

It is a religious cult, after all.

Last edited 1 month ago by strativarius
Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  strativarius
December 23, 2022 7:59 am

I understand cults because I almost got hooked a few times. When young, I had some good friends who were “born again” who worked me over- and since I like to listen to people I was fully exposed to their cult – but at some point I began to sense I was being brainwashed. Especially when I joined these friends at their church to see a speaker who explained how all the layers in the Grand Canyon were laid down as The Great Flood receded. The guy looked like a handsome, charming professor with a good voice – yet, what he said made no sense even though as of then I had never taken a geology course.And, they gave me books on creationism produced at some phony college in Texas (The Creationist Institute or something like that). So, I went to my college bookstore and bought ALL the geology textbooks- then read them all. I found it thrilling to learn the history of the Earth and how geologists make sense of it. (I watch several geology YouTube channels too which are awesome) I then realized that books from the Creationist Institute were fraudulent. The authors used terms and phrases that sounded like real geology but it was obvious to me that they actually understood geology pretty well but twisted it to build their phony creationist “model”. That was the end of my relationship with fundamentalism.

Something similar happened decades later regarding the climate hoax. Here in Massachusetts you simply are never exposed to the climate skeptical viewpoints. So, I believed it and even preached it to others. Luckily, a friend pointed me to this site and many others- and on my own I came across Tony Heller’s site and more. I then felt the same disillusionment- that I had been hoodwinked. But, when I try to enlighten others on this subject I have little luck because the hoax is so entrenched in the Northeast and of course the “left coast”. What really ticks me off is that these lunatics want to stop all forestry- which has been my profession for 50 years. They say locking up the forests will help save the planet. Of course they all live in nice wood homes with nice wood furniture and tons of paper products. They also preach that we should buy our food locally- but I guess they’ll be buying their wood from Oregon or Sweden. What holds for food doesn’t hold for wood. I detest these climatistas along with the bureaucrats and academics who back them up.

Paul S
December 23, 2022 7:47 am

You would think expanding the territory for the turtles would be a good thing. A week past some lady lamented the soon to be demise of the polar bears in a neighborhood blog. I responded simply; “40 years ago there were less than 10,000 bears, now there are around 30,000”. She immediately wanted proof. I sent a link of dozens of Susan Crockford articles. Another reader chimed in with an article that totally decimated Susan C, said she is a fraud, etc. I then sent an article by NPR, (of all things), thinking they would believe that as it said the bears are increasing. This was met with derision. I don’t understand those eco warriors. You would think an increase would be a good thing, that would make them happy, but noooo.

Reply to  Paul S
December 23, 2022 7:59 am

I don’t understand those eco warriors. “

Allow me. The narrative is always -ve It can never be +ve

Reply to  Paul S
December 23, 2022 8:11 am

Once you recognize that misery is their drug of choice, many things make more sense.

By not succumbing to the addiction and using common sense, reason, and data, you are attempting an intervention with the addicts which is forcibly rejected.

Reply to  Paul S
December 23, 2022 7:16 pm

Their reaction isn’t that hard to understand. It’s a combination of cognative disssonance combined with the five stages of grief (the first stage is denial, second is anger). They simply refuse to believe anything that challenges their existing world view & their first reaction is denial, closely followed with anger at anybody that threatens it.

Joseph Zorzin
December 23, 2022 9:17 am

Wow, I suggest everyone watch the following.

Discovery of 2-million-year-old DNA in Greenland reveals new details about ancient life

Scientists working in Greenland identified the oldest samples of DNA ever found on earth. By analyzing the two-million year old genetic material, they’ve revealed how northern Greenland was once a wildly different environment than the cold, polar region it is today. Project researcher Eske Willerslev joined William Brangham to discuss the discovery.

One of those scientists says the temperature was 10-11 deg. C higher 2 million years ago. Mammoths, reindeer and many other species- a mix of arctic and temperate species were there. At the end he said that we’re going to get back to that due to global warming- though he provides no evidence showing how or why. Big assumption on his part. He did say the climate changes in unpredictable ways. If that’s the case then why should we conclude that it’s due primarily to the use of fossil fuels?

This PBS video didn’t give any links to the original research papers. Maybe this is old news? The video was just uploaded. PBS doesn’t allow comments on their videos- which I find strange.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
December 24, 2022 8:48 am

I was recently watching a show on ancient Egypt. They discussed using genes to try and identify some of the mummies. They discussed how difficult it was because of how badly degraded the DNA was. These mummies are only about 5000 years old.

December 23, 2022 9:23 am

As I oft say, “never let the truth get in the way of a good story”

Gary Pearse
December 23, 2022 9:42 am

“Non-marine turtles invaded higher paleolatitudes several times in the past”

Several times huh. So did the entire flora and fauna! Hippos in the Thames, crocks in Svalbard … this miraculous range is a reassuring fact about our fellow creatures, boneheads. My favorite worry from the idiotocrasy was sealevel rise drowning half of Floridians.

Gunga Din
Reply to  Gary Pearse
December 23, 2022 12:36 pm

Well, if they were Marine turtles they’d have been there to stay.

Gunga Din
December 23, 2022 10:37 am

I like the picture.
A turtle stampede!

Mike McMillan
Reply to  Gunga Din
December 23, 2022 1:52 pm

Racing to stay ahead of the rising seas.

December 23, 2022 11:17 am

The only mass exodus north I see is illegal aliens crossing borders in EU and US.

D. J. Hawkins
December 23, 2022 11:45 am

Usually Pinky’s partner, Brain, keeps him somewhat in check.

Bruce Cobb
December 23, 2022 1:12 pm

It’s turtles all the way up!

Hatter Eggburn
December 23, 2022 2:54 pm

WUWT silence on the 40-year record cold storm in the USA? What’s up with that? O yes – this is the USA so it’s obvious mafia enforcers are putting the frighteners on. Frustrating for those of us curious about such things. You know – about climate and stuff.

Anyone interested in 40 year record cold in the USA?

Reply to  Hatter Eggburn
December 23, 2022 4:40 pm

Get ready for the cold December temperatures to be erased from the records come next year

Reply to  Duker
December 23, 2022 7:21 pm

Anyhow, remember the rule of thumb: if it’s hot, it’s global warming. If it’s cold, it’s just weather.

Reply to  Hatter Eggburn
December 23, 2022 4:59 pm

Here in Alberta we broke 30 cold records in one day last month (and more this week). You must remember the worldwide media hype…oh yeah, there was none….only the BC summer “heat wave”.

Last edited 1 month ago by DMacKenzie
Reply to  DMacKenzie
December 23, 2022 5:13 pm

Wow I see 54 stations had record lows Wednesday. Will the Grauniad cover it ? Alberta being bigger in area than France, which got big worldwide climate change coverage when their grapes froze…..

Last edited 1 month ago by DMacKenzie
Reply to  Hatter Eggburn
December 23, 2022 7:19 pm

Anybody interested in the 40 year normal weather? Let me know when it reaches a significant level, like outside the 3-sigma range.

Reply to  Hatter Eggburn
December 24, 2022 8:51 am

Are you going to spam every article with this same whine until you get your way?

BTW, have you made any effort to learn the difference between weather and climate.
A 40 year old record means that it was even colder 40 years ago. Which would place it right in the middle of the big “coming ice age” scare, that you alarmists keep insisting never happened.

December 23, 2022 9:51 pm

We apply ecological niche modeling (ENM) to reconstruct turtle niches, using ancient and modern distribution data, paleogeographic reconstructions, and the HadCM3L climate model to quantify their range shifts in the Cretaceous and late Eocene.

More self satisfaction play games using magic program inputs, variables and program codes.

“Non-marine turtles reached their highest latitudes in the Cenomanian and Eocene

Occupation of high paleolatitudes is projected at extreme emission scenarios”


Though I doubt any of those non-marine turtle area expansions/occupations occurred after the interglacial interval treeline started retreating toward the equator long distances.

“RCP 8.5 (4.5C global warming level) scenarios at 2100 (Figures 4Q–4X). Trionychids modeled under RCP 4.5 (Figure 4Q) show expansion of suitable habitat in northern Europe, and warmer temperatures facilitated northward expansion of suitable habitat in central and western parts of North America.

Conversely, warmer and drier climates in southern Europe are expected to result in a future loss of environmental suitability for this freshwater family (Figure 4Q).

The higher warming RCP 8.5 scenario (Figure 4U) drives a northward expansion in North America, Europe, and central Asia, whereas causing habitat loss in central Africa, South America, and southern India.”

Without the authors explicitly stating so, the non-marine turtles expand their occupied territories under the authors’ various fantasy calculations.

December 24, 2022 2:32 am

The temperature of incubating turtle eggs affects the balance of male to female offspring.
Nature designed it to be this way.
If Man comes up with schemes to change the location and hence heat on eggs because climate changes, then Man is foolish.
For many reasons, Nature must be left alone more than current academic research seems to want. Caution, please.
Geoff S

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