Green Sea Turtles Could Face Extinction as Temperatures Rise in Great Barrier Reef

Article ID: 687942

Released: 15-Jan-2018 6:05 PM EST

Source Newsroom: University of Redlands

Expert Pitch
  • Dr. Monty Hempel

Newswise — Dr. Monty Hempel is director of the environmental science department at the University of Redlands and past president of the Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences (AESS). He is internationally recognized and can speak with authority about climate disruption and the effects of global warming. 

"A recent article about green sea turtles and Australia’s Great Barrier Reef published in Current Biology illustrates the reproductive plight of a species that is now producing mostly female hatchlings. The sex of crocodiles and most turtles is environmentally determined by the temperature of incubating eggs. That means global warming can be thought of as the ultimate sex change operation for many reptiles.  Human-induced climate change is altering the sex ratios of these species to an extent that their long-term survival is at stake. 

"Even more ominously, large parts of the coral ecosystem in which these marine turtles live are being rapidly destroyed by temperature-induced coral bleaching, with 93 percent of the reef system reportedly damaged in the latest episode. Climate disruption is affecting our world in ways that will alter our understanding of nature."

Dr. Hempel earned his Ph.D. in government, environmental policy and M.A. in international environmental policy at Claremont Graduate University; and B.A. in ecology and public policy at the University of Minnesota. 

 


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