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

Abstract

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.

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Correspondence to Ka-wai Fan.

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Fan, K. Climatic change and dynastic cycles in Chinese history: a review essay. Climatic Change 101, 565–573 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-009-9702-3

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Keywords

  • Summer Monsoon
  • Winter Monsoon
  • Ming Dynasty
  • Tang Dynasty
  • Chinese History