Climate change is increasing the number of drownings in 10 Northern Hemisphere countries, especially among children and young adults, according to a study published in the journal PLoS One last week. The majority of these drownings occurred on frozen lakes or rivers, as warmer temperatures and earlier springs cause ice to be less solid and melt earlier in the year. The US and Canada saw more drowning than other countries because Indeginous communities in the north who rely on the ice to hunt, fish, and travel are particularly affected. Countries with strict rules on ice activities saw less drowning, but that’s not always an option. In Western Alaska near the town of Bethel, the frozen Kuskokwim River is crucial for travel. Mark Leary, a volunteer with the Bethel Search and Rescue, explained to the Washington Post that for the surrounding areas, Bethel is “the only place with a real hospital” and “when you live in a small village with very limited goods and services and Bethel has everything you need, sometimes you just need to go. People are getting on the river with snow machines when it’s barely safe.” (Washington Post $, Smithsonian Magazine, New York Times $, BBC, Weather Channel, E&E $)