The heaviest and longest snow on record has caused tremendous
difficulties in people's lives, but it may help forestation efforts
on the southern edge of Takla Makan Desert, China's largest
The snow since mid-January has covered a remarkable area of
750,000 square kilometers in the south of the northwestern Xinjiang
Uygur Autonomous Region. Nearly 60 percent of the area has been
covered with over 10-centimeter-deep snow until early February.
The snow will help ease the spring drought in the driest area in
the country, said Zhang Ximing, researcher with Xinjiang Institute
of Ecology and Geography affiliated with the Chinese Academy of
Continuous snow around Kunlun mountain, which will increase the
amount of melting snow and floods in summer. The flood can be
channeled to nourish trees in the southern Takla Makan Desert, said
Scientists and residents in south Xinjiang have invented a way
to channel the flood in spring and summer from the mountains to
nourish Chinese Tamarisks, a kind of deep-rooted tree valued for
their adaptability to extreme desert climates, since the 1950s.
In Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, about 300,000 people around
the Taklamakan Desert had been affected by the snow and 44,600
livestock had died.
(Xinhua News Agency February 9, 2008)