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Label this one “hadn’t thought of it before, but this makes sense”

A new study says rising winter temperatures are associated with more accidents involving people falling through the ice on ponds and rivers. From the story in EENews:

In general, drownings were rare in temperatures below 14 degrees Fahrenheit and above freezing — times when lake ice is at its most stable or when it melts away. They increased sharply as temperatures began to approach the freezing point.

Drowning rates tended to be highest at the beginning and end of winter — March or April in most of the 10 countries — when the weather is likely to be warmer.

While drownings did generally increase as winter temperatures approached freezing, the rate of drownings still varied widely from one country to the next. The researchers noted that in countries with stringent rules about winter recreation — local laws in Italy, for instance, prohibit ice fishing and other activities — drownings were far less frequent.

On the other hand, the number of drowning incidents tended to be higher in places where winter activities have strong cultural ties, such as Indigenous communities in northern Canada.

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