Warmer Winters Linked to Increased Drowning Risk, Researchers Say

Winter activities on ice are becoming increasingly dangerous as the world warms, scientists say.

Researchers looked at data on drowning accidents in largely frozen lakes or rivers and saw a “strong correlation” to rising temperatures.

They found that deaths from drowning were five times higher when warmer weather made the ice thinner and weaker.

Children aged under nine years and younger adults were most at risk.

For indigenous peoples in many northern regions of the world, livelihoods often depend on access to frozen lakes in winter for hunting, fishing and travel.

In the US, Canada and Russia, winter leisure activities such as skating on ice are also hugely popular.

But as the world warms, winter ice is becoming less stable and scientists believe it poses a greater threat of accidental drowning.

Researchers said, “Ice now gets frozen and thawed and when that happens there’s water in-between the layers of the ice. So it may look hard and frozen, but it’s not.”

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