China claims first artificial snowfall in drought-hit Tibet

China has successfully created artificial snow in the mountainous region of Tibet, raising hopes of a man-made solution to drought and melting glaciers there, state media reported on Wednesday.

The artificial snowfall was engineered on April 10 at an altitude of 4,500 metres (14,700 feet) in Nagqu country in northern Tibet, Xinhua news agency said, quoting the local meteorological station. “The first artificial snowfall proves it’s possible to change the weather through human efforts on the world’s highest plateau,” said Yu Zhongshui, an engineer with the meteorological station.

The snowfall measured one centimetre (0.4 inches) deep.

“To launch artificial precipitation can help alleviate drought on the grassland in northern Tibet,” said Yu.

Xinhua did not give details of the method used but chemicals such as silver iodide spread by aircraft or rockets are commonly used in cloud seeding to increase rainfall in arid regions.

Source:  AFP news article

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