Takla Makan Desert Clad in Heavy Snow

Renowned for aridity, the Takla Makan desert in China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region recently was covered by a heavy snow with roads along the desert turned into an expanse of snowfield.

Recent days saw uninterrupted snowfalls on the most part of south Xinjiang, even the Takla Makan desert, the well-known arid land was also clad in snow. The desert turns into a silvery world after snowfalls. The snow in the desert is at 4 mm deep and the lowest temperature drops to 26 íŠ below zero.

It is the first case to see heavy snow in the region. Temperature also drops to a record low as against the observatory record which shows that the lowest temperature has ever reached 22.2 íŠ below zero.

It is not a rare thing to snow in the desert, that even happens in May or June, but it is extraordinary this year.

Petroleum workers in the area working day and night suffered a great deal in cold weather. However, it also augers them a good news, the boundless sands in the desert can not go rampant in snow. Sources say that if it snows like this every year, huge sum of money on afforestation can be saved and it will even bring about a change of climate in the area.

Taklamakan Desert

The Taklamakan Desert, the center of Tarim Basin in China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, is known as the Sea of Death from which nobody can escape.

In this huge, barely inhabited desert, streams flow into the basin losing them and evaporate, never reach the sea. Meanwhile, poisonous snakes and frequent sand storms are always experienced, and explorers have to bear lots of tortures such as water shortage and great temperature difference between boiling heat and freezing cold from day to night.

( People's Daily January 25, 2002)