Mild weather takes edge off Chinese ice festival

The popular ice festival in northeast China's Harbin, based on a local tradition of making ice lanterns that reaches back almost 1,400 years, has been undercut by climbing temperatures, reported the Washington Post on Sunday.
The report notes that the people of Harbin blame climate change for what they say has been a pattern of rising temperatures over the past several years.

"So much melting," lamented Wang Xuhai, director and Communist Party secretary of the Harbin Ice Lantern Art Exhibition Center. "It’s part of a worldwide problem."

For Harbin, the rise in temperatures is a direct threat to a tourist attraction that brought in 5 million visitors last year and injects millions of dollars into the local economy.