Climate change and drowning

TitleClimate change and drowning
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsDr. Beerman, MD, BSc, BSR, CCFP, FCFP, SB
Conference NameWorld Conference on Drowning Prevention
Date Published09/2007
PublisherInternational Life Saving Federation
Conference LocationPorto, Portugal
Other Numbers03-37

­Task Force Workshop - Parameters for this task:

  1. We acknowledge that there is debate and uncertainty over the issue of global warming and predicted severity.
  2. ILS takes no position on the issue at large (i.e. is global warming a reality or not and how serious a problem if so).
  3. Considering the distinct possibility regarding the reality of global warming and its results, ILS wishes to help Member Federations and other similarly focused groups to prepare for the possibilities.

The background document will be reviewed and the implications on Aquatic Lifesaving will lbe considered. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – Summary for Policymakers - Impact, Adaptations and Vulnerability 2007 Report, is one part of a larger report that is on line at

There will be a review of the Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, Working Group II Contributions to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Fourth Assessment Report, April 2007. The Assessment is of current scientific understanding of impacts of climate change on natural, managed and human systems, on water related natural adjustments, the potential for aquatic natural disasters and implications for aquatic recreation and vocations.

That Assessment concludes that “there is high confidence” that recent regional changes in temperature have had discernable impacts on many physical and biological systems. Observational evidence from all continents and most oceans shows that many natural systems are being affected by regional climate changes, particularly temperature increases.

A Task Force Report will give guidance to the conference on the impacts of climate change on aquatic activities, water safety, water rescue and aquatic recreation and vocations. A draft of the Report contents will be predistributed to the Task Force members and conference participants. The workshop will refine the implication issues and the report. The report will report to the final Plenary session of the World Water Safety 2007 Conference. The report will outline next steps, if indicated.

Task Force Members

Steve Beerman (Chair)
Norm Farmer
Linda Quan
Aminur Rahman

Learning Outcomes
  1. Learn of the aquatic implications of the UN Intergovernmental Report on Climate Change.
  2. Provide a report to ILS and ILS Member Federations on the implications of Climate change on lifesaving and drowning.
  3. Provide a report on next steps in research, monitoring, and actions to reduce drowning deaths.
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