Increased winter drownings in ice-covered regions with warmer winters

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2020
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Sharma, Sapna
Blagrave, Kevin
Watson, Simon R.
O’Reilly, Catherine M.
Batt, Ryan
Magnuson, John J.
Clemens, Tessa
Denfeld, Blaize A.
Flaim, Giovanna
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PloS one. Public Library of Science. 2020, 15(11), e0241222. eISSN 1932-6203. Available under: doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0241222
Zusammenfassung

Winter activities on ice are culturally important for many countries, yet they constitute a high safety risk depending upon the stability of the ice. Because consistently cold periods are required to form stable and thick ice, warmer winters could degrade ice conditions and increase the likelihood of falling through the ice. This study provides the first large-scale assessment of winter drowning from 10 Northern Hemisphere countries. We documented over 4000 winter drowning events. Winter drownings increased exponentially in regions with warmer winters when air temperatures neared 0°C. The largest number of drownings occurred when winter air temperatures were between -5°C and 0°C, when ice is less stable, and also in regions where indigenous traditions and livelihood require extended time on ice. Rates of drowning were greatest late in the winter season when ice stability declines. Children and adults up to the age of 39 were at the highest risk of winter drownings. Beyond temperature, differences in cultures, regulations, and human behaviours can be important additional risk factors. Our findings indicate the potential for increased human mortality with warmer winter air temperatures. Incorporating drowning prevention plans would improve adaptation strategies to a changing climate.

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570 Biowissenschaften, Biologie
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ISO 690SHARMA, Sapna, Kevin BLAGRAVE, Simon R. WATSON, Catherine M. O’REILLY, Ryan BATT, John J. MAGNUSON, Tessa CLEMENS, Blaize A. DENFELD, Giovanna FLAIM, Dietmar STRAILE, 2020. Increased winter drownings in ice-covered regions with warmer winters. In: PloS one. Public Library of Science. 2020, 15(11), e0241222. eISSN 1932-6203. Available under: doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0241222
BibTex
@article{Sharma2020Incre-51904,
  year={2020},
  doi={10.1371/journal.pone.0241222},
  title={Increased winter drownings in ice-covered regions with warmer winters},
  number={11},
  volume={15},
  journal={PloS one},
  author={Sharma, Sapna and Blagrave, Kevin and Watson, Simon R. and O’Reilly, Catherine M. and Batt, Ryan and Magnuson, John J. and Clemens, Tessa and Denfeld, Blaize A. and Flaim, Giovanna and Straile, Dietmar},
  note={Article Number: e0241222}
}
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