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China creates artificial snowfall in Tibet

China has succeeded in creating an artificial snowfall for the first time in Tibet to combat drought worries, state media reported Wednesday.

The success proves it is "possible to change the weather through human efforts on the world's highest plateau," Yu Zhongshui, an engineer with the Tibet meteorological office, was quoted as saying by Xinhua News Agency.

A spokesman for the Tibet Meteorological Bureau said the artificial snow was created by seeding the clouds with silver iodide, which has a cooling effect.

The Qinghai-Tibet plateau feeds the massive Yangtze river which flows through to the sea near Shanghai and Chinese officials have said they are concerned that the impact of global warming will melt glaciers and cause droughts.

Xinhua said the precipitation was measured at 2.2 mm (0.09 inch) and the accumulated snow on the ground reached 1 cm (0.04 inch) after the artificial snowfall.

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

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