Sunday, November 15, 2009

Turtles Are Casualties of Warming in Costa Rica

While some people dedicate their summer nights to cookouts and fireworks, tourists on Costa Rica's northern Caribbean coast stroll the palm-lined beach of Tortuguero National Park to witness a more natural ritual, the annual nesting of green sea turtles. As many as 150,000 bury their eggs in the sands of Tortuguero in a good year, making it one of the world's top nesting beaches for the endangered green turtle. Four times as many green turtles now nest in Tortuguero than did in the 1960s. Tortuguero is one of many success stories in a long struggle to ensure the survival of the harmless marine reptile, which only recently faced an uncertain future.
But scientists fear that climate change could undo much of the progress made in sea turtle conservation. Global warming is linked to weather extremes. Rising temperatures from global warming are a major threat. Beach temperature during egg incubation determines turtle sex ratios, with higher temperatures producing more females.
A recent study at a Florida nesting beach found that all the turtle hatchlings were female, while on Costa Rica's Playa Grande, the sand was so hot between January and March of this year that turtle eggs buried there stopped hatching.
This is a clear consequence of climate change. It does affect more than we think, If we don’t measure what we do we can finish destroying all the life on the earth. There are some damages which are reversible but there are other that are impossible to fix. Contaminated water may be purified, but extinct species can’t be recovered. How will we stop the bad we have started?

1 comment:

Meghan Croxton said...

Much research is being done to examine and reverse the effects of greenhouse gases on another country. We believe what one country produces should not result in any harm towards another country. So why do animals have to pay for it?
The sex ratios of male to female hatchlings are a strong warning sign that global warming is affecting all aspects of our ecosystem. If the slight change in atmospheric temperature is hurting the turtle’s environment so much as to end their species, then it is most likely hurting many other organisms as well. These signs are happening everywhere and if we don’t act quickly and boldly, these concerns may not be able to be reversed and will likely continue to grow in size.