CLIMATE CHANGE DRIVEN SEA RISE WILL SOON MAKE SEA TURTLES ALL THE MORE ENDANGERED
Sea turtles are cute and amazing creatures. Just ask Disney and lots and lots of toy makers. If you’re lucky, you’ve seen one or more of these creatures in person. I saw one while scuba diving, and let’s just say it’s an experience I’ll never forget. They are graceful, and seeing one while underwater is like nothing else. I was at the Great Barrier Reef at the time, and I couldn’t escape knowing that almost everything I saw there was (and is) likely to disappear in my lifetime. Unfortunately, that may also include the amazing, endangered sea turtle. And now climate change is about to make the hard shell beauty’s future even more dire.
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BEACHES IN THE AMERICAS AND AUSTRALIA SEA TURTLES NEED TO BREED WON’T BE THERE MUCH LONGER
Sea turtles have critical breeding grounds throughout the Americas and Australia. And that means beaches, where they lumber up to lay and bury their eggs. And you may not know it, but there are a number of endangered sea turtle species. There are the leatherback, loggerhead, hawksbill, olive ridley and green sea turtles. All of them are protected under the Endangered Species Act, and it’s a good thing they are. But Acts of government don’t care about climate change. And we now know that climate change is about to drive some serious sea level rises the likes of which denial, and the world, is helpless against.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO SEA TURTLES ONCE THESE BEACHES ARE GONE? ONLY TIME WILL TELL
And sea turtles are also helpless, as climate change will cause sea level rise, and soon, that is likely to literally wash away the beaches that are critical for their reproduction. This means beaches throughout Latin America, the U.S., the Caribbean, and Australia will likely disappear all too soon. Under just the most moderate of predictive scenarios, 100% of these beaches will be completely flooded. That means gone. And every day that new data comes in, it’s the more pessimistic models that seem more likely.
That’s bad news for sea turtles, the world, and us. If it’s on your bucket list, you may want to get your scuba certification, and fast.