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'City of Ice' feels effect of global warming
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Harbin is feeling the effects of global warming first-hand as last year the northernmost major city in China recorded its highest annual average temperature, meteorologists said on Friday.

The average annual temperature in the capital of the northeastern Heilongjiang Province, dubbed the "city of ice" and famed for its annual ice sculpture festival, was 6.6 degrees Celsius in 2007. It was the highest since meteorological records began in 1881, the Heilongjiang Meteorological Observatory said.

The previous record was 6.1 degrees in 1998.

The average temperatures in January, February and June were also the highest in history. They were minus 11.5 degrees, minus seven degrees and 23.7 degrees, respectively.

The city's average temperature last month was minus 10.6 degrees, the second highest over the same period in history, said Yin Xuemian, a senior meteorologist at the observatory. The record December average was minus 10 degrees set in 1935 and 1956.

"The record high annual average temperature was not incidental, " she said. "It was closely related to the global warming trend."

The previous years reporting average temperatures of above six degrees were 1998 and 2003.

(Xinhua News Agency January 4, 2008)

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