Climatic change and dynastic cycles in Chinese history: a review essay

  title={Climatic change and dynastic cycles in Chinese history: a review essay},
  author={Ka Wai Fan},
  journal={Climatic Change},
  • K. Fan
  • Published 1 August 2010
  • History
  • Climatic Change
In this article, the author reviews a number of recent publications by scientists and historians. Those publications, drawing on the latest scientific findings about climatic change in ancient China, suggest that the fall of the Tang and Ming dynasties may have been caused by global cooling. But the fall of a dynasty is a hugely complicated event. Lacking an adequate understanding of the relevant historical developments, the scholars under review fail to offer convincing explanations for… 

Climate change and Chinese history: a review of trends, topics, and methods

  • K. Fan
  • Environmental Science
  • 2015
The history of China is richly documented, and it is therefore possible to reconstruct the climatic characteristics of different historical periods using written records rather than other techniques.

A tale of two population crises in recent Chinese history

The present study utilized high-resolution empirical data, qualitative survey, statistical comparison and time-series analysis to investigate how the two factors worked synergistically to drive population cycles in 1600–1899, and confirms that the interrelation between population growth, climate change and population crises in recent Chinese history basically followed the posited pathways.

Lessons: Factors Driving the Rise and Fall of Dynasties

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The association between climate change and human crises in history was conceived a century ago. Yet, it remained controversial and even questioned in academia for some time because it was usually

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The relation between climate change and historical rhythms has long been discussed; however, this type of study still faces the lack of high-resolution data of long-term socio-economic processes. In

Comment on “On linking climate to Chinese dynastic change: Spatial and temporal variations of monsoonal rain”

An article by Zhang et al. questions the interpretation of our oxygen isotope record from Wanxiang Cave and the sediment titanium record from Lake Huguang Maar, and the possible linkage between

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The last few years have seen a surge of scholarly interest in how cultures have been influenced by climate, climatic changes, and extremes of weather. This “cultural turn” of climate history draws

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This paper provides a critical analysis of recent climate history (or historical climatology) scholarship. It identifies four key subfields in this historiography of climate change. First, it

Measuring the effect of climate change on wars in history

  • H. Lee
  • Environmental Science
    Asian Geographer
  • 2018
ABSTRACT Since 2005, there have been an increasing number of large-N quantitative studies measuring the effect of climate change on wars in recent history. Those large-N studies are crucial in



Climate change, social unrest and dynastic transition in ancient China

The evident connection between human evolution and climatic changes has been concurred by scientists. Although many people are trying to forecast the impacts of climatic changes on our future

Climate and History: Studies in Interdisciplinary History

The effect of climate on historical change represents an exciting frontier for reading and research. In this volume scholars contribute to an area of interdisciplinary study which has not been

Climatic Change, Wars and Dynastic Cycles in China Over the Last Millennium

In recent years, the phenomenon of global warming and its implications for the future of the human race have been intensively studied. In contrast, few quantitative studies have been attempted on the

Climate Change and War Frequency in Eastern China over the Last Millennium

We explore the association between climate change and warfare in eastern China over the past millennium from a macro-historic perspective. High-resolution palaeo-temperature reconstructions and the

Climate Change and Religious Response: The Case of Early Medieval China*

  • T. Barrett
  • History
    Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society
  • 2007
The following remarks were originally drafted to serve as the thirty-seventh Evans-Wentz Lecture in Asian Philosophy, Religion and Ethics at Stanford University in May 2006, and take therefore as

From Pingcheng to Luoyang — Substantiation of the climatic cause for capital relocation of the Beiwei Dynasty

Abstract Emperor Tuoba Hong of Beiwei relocated the capital from Pingcheng to Luoyang approximately 1500 years ago. Most historians speculate that his motivation was based on considerations of


The world climate during the historical times fluctuated. The numerous Chinese historical writings provide us excellent references in studying the ancient climate of China. The present author

The Retreat of the Elephants: An Environmental History of China

  • J. Elvin
  • History, Environmental Science
  • 2004
This is the first environmental history of China during the three thousand years for which there are written records. It is also a treasure trove of literary, political, aesthetic, scientific, and

The Little Ice Age: how climate made history 1300-1850

  • B. Fagan
  • Environmental Science, History
  • 2002
Brian Fagan examines the dominant climate event of the last millennium-the 500-year Little Ice Age-and shows how it affected major episodes of European history. Only in the last decade have

Floods, Famines, And Emperors: El Nino And The Fate Of Civilizations

In 1999, few people had thought to examine the effects of climate on civilization. Now, due in part to the groundbreaking work of archaeologist Brian Fagan, climate change is a central issue. Revised