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climate change & sea turtles

The effects of climate change are having enormous impacts on sea turtles and other wildlife. The rate of climate change far exceeds the abilities of animals to adapt naturally to such dramatic environmental changes. Sea level rise from the melting of polar ice is already contributing to the loss of beach and sea turtle nesting habitat. Weather extremes, also linked to climate change, mean more frequent and severe storms which alter nesting beaches, cause beach erosion, and inundate, or flood sea turtle nests.

 Hotter sand from increasing temperatures results in decreased hatching rates or complete nest failure. Increased sand temperatures also affect hatchlings by altering natural sex ratios, with hotter temperatures producing more female hatchlings. Sea turtles use ocean currents to travel and find prey. Warming ocean temperatures influence migratory species by altering currents and impacting the distribution and abundance of prey species. This can result in southerly species being found in more northerly regions, well outside of their normal range. Warmer water temperatures also affect coral reefs through coral bleaching which are vital to the survival of species like the hawksbill.

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sample social media posts:

Did you know climate change is a major threat to sea turtles? Rising sea levels are drowning nesting beaches, warmer water temperatures damage coral reefs, and warmer sand skews their sex ratios. http://www.seeturtles.org/global-warming #SeaTurtleWeek

Climate change is a major threat throughout the world, not just to us humans but to sea turtles as well. Climate change impacts sea level rise, storm intensity and frequency near turtle nesting sites and even the sex ratio of newborn sea turtles. The heat level of the sand where the eggs are hatched actually determines the sex of the newborn. As climate change continues to warm the planet, there has been a spike in female sea turtle offspring. via @hsiglobal #SeaTurtleWeek