Climatic Change

, Volume 101, Issue 3–4, pp 565–573 | Cite as

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

  • Ka-wai FanEmail author


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 imperial collapse. However, the author believes that when they are properly combined science and historical evidence can provide answers to important questions that history alone could not explain.


Summer Monsoon Winter Monsoon Ming Dynasty Tang Dynasty Chinese History 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chinese Civilisation CentreCity University of Hong KongKowloonHong Kong

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