For these critically endangered marine turtles, climate change could be a knockout blow

To evaluate climate change's effects on hawksbill hatching success, FSU researchers analyzed more than 5,000 nests from the five Brazilian beaches where a majority of the region's hawksbill nesting occurs. The team focused specifically on five climatic variables -- air temperature, rainfall, humidity, solar radiation and wind speed -- in order to render a more comprehensive model of the various and subtle effects of a changing climate on the sensitive incubation process.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Hawksbill turtles aren't the only marine turtles threatened by the destabilizing effects of climate change, but a new study from researchers at Florida State University shows that this critically endangered species could be at particular risk.

In a study published in the journal PLOS ONE, researchers from FSU's Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science suggest that projected increases in air temperatures, rainfall inundation and blistering solar radiation could significantly reduce hawksbill hatching success at a selection of major nesting beaches.

Earth's history abounds with examples of climate shifts, but researchers say today's transforming climate, paired with unabated human development, imperils hawksbills and other marine turtles in new and alarming ways.

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