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Harbin, China, January 5, 2008Tourists line up to enter an illuminated "village" made of ice at an annual ice and snow festival in the country's northeastern Heilongjiang Province.

The temples, churches, and palaces were carved out of ice from the frozen Songhua River. Some 15,000 workers cut 4.2 million cubic feet (120,000 cubic meters) of ice to make the buildings, according to the news agency AFP.

The festival draws about 800,000 visitors every year to one of China's coldest cities, where temperatures can drop as low as 31 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celsius) below zero.

But global climate change is causing the structures to melt earlier than usual. In 2006, Harbin's average temperature was 44 degrees Fahrenheit (6.6 degrees Celsius), the highest average since record-keeping began.

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—Photograph by Andy Wong/AP
 
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