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China Shivers Through Coldest Winter in Decades

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Published on Jan 11, 2013

This winter in China has been one of the coldest in decades, with average temperatures in some regions hitting their lowest in over 40 years, according to state-run media.

China's national average temperature dropped to 25 degrees Fahrenheit since November 20, the lowest in 28 years according to the China Meteorological Administration. In northeast China, average temperatures reached a 43-year low of 4.5 degrees. Northern China dropped to an average of 18.7 degrees, the lowest in 42 years.

Surprisingly, the recent icy weather is being blamed on global warming, as shrinking ice in the Arctic region changes weather patterns. Polar fronts with freezing temperatures are being pushed to the south, Zhou Botao of China's National Climate Center told the state-run China Daily newspaper.

Snow and ice storms have led to power outages, cancelled flights, and closed highways in several provinces. State-run media reported that one thousand ships were stuck in frozen Laizhou Bay in the eastern Bohai Sea, as of last week.

And in southern China, a historic controversy about the lack of heating has resurfaced. In the 1950s, a line was drawn that split China into a northern region that received heavily subsidized public heating, and a southern region that got nothing.

Southern Chinese have been voicing their complaints about the situation online, as well as mentioning another pesky grievance. Apparently, iPads and other Apple products take an extremely long time to charge at low temperatures. Although Apple employees explain that this is normal, desperate users have reported smothering their iPads in blankets, heating them with hot water bottles, and blasting them with hairdryers to speed up the charging process.

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