Breaking the Ice

30th January, 2021

The OSS HQ recently received the question ‘I’m swimming through winter and need to break the ice – am I affecting the environment when I do this?’ – we asked our team if they knew the answer.

Dr Morgan Jones, Academic and OSS Director, answered: Ice cover on lakes is really important for lakes that freeze over annually (at more extreme latitudes than the UK), as it enable fauna in the lake to hibernate and allows the lake to circulate as it should, taking much needed nutrients and oxygen down to the lake bottom. So, whilst breaking a little ice to swim won’t have much of an impact (global heating is a much bigger problem that we should focus our efforts on), it is best that we don’t break ice en masse, and leave the natural environment to it as much as possible.