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Article: Climatic change, wars and dynastic cycles in China over the last millennium

TitleClimatic change, wars and dynastic cycles in China over the last millennium
Authors
Issue Date2006
PublisherSpringer Verlag Dordrecht. The Journal's web site is located at http://springerlink.metapress.com/openurl.asp?genre=journal&issn=0165-0009
Citation
Climatic Change, 2006, v. 76 n. 3-4, p. 459-477 How to Cite?
AbstractIn 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 notable effects of past climatic changes upon human societies. This study explored the relationship between climatic change and war in China by comparing high-resolution paleo-climatic reconstructions with known war incidences in China in the last millennium. War frequencies showed a cyclic pattern that closely followed the global paleo-temperature changes. Strong and significant correlations were found between climatic change, war occurrence, harvest level, population size and dynastic transition. During cold phases, China suffered more often from frequent wars, population decline and dynastic changes. The quantitative analyses suggested that the reduction of thermal energy input during a cold phase would lower the land carrying capacity in the traditional agrarian society, and the population size, with significant accretions accrued in the previous warm phase, could not be sustained by the shrinking resource base. The stressed human-nature relationship generated a 'push force', leading to more frequent wars between states, regions and tribes, which could lead to the collapse of dynasties and collapses of human population size. War frequencies varied according to geographical locations (North, Central and South China) due to spatial variations in the physical environment and hence differential response to climatic change. Moreover, war occurrences demonstrated an obvious time lag after an episode of temperature fall, and the three geographical regions experienced different length of time lags. This research also shows that human population increases and collapses were correlated with the climatic phases and the social instabilities that were induced by climate changes during the last millennium. The findings proposed a new interpretation of human-nature relationship in the past, with implications for the impacts of anomalous global warming on future human conflicts. © Springer 2006.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/86094
ISSN
2015 Impact Factor: 3.344
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 2.149
ISI Accession Number ID
References

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorZhang, DDen_HK
dc.contributor.authorJim, CYen_HK
dc.contributor.authorLin, GCSen_HK
dc.contributor.authorHe, YQen_HK
dc.contributor.authorWang, JJen_HK
dc.contributor.authorLee, HFen_HK
dc.date.accessioned2010-09-06T09:12:49Z-
dc.date.available2010-09-06T09:12:49Z-
dc.date.issued2006en_HK
dc.identifier.citationClimatic Change, 2006, v. 76 n. 3-4, p. 459-477en_HK
dc.identifier.issn0165-0009en_HK
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/86094-
dc.description.abstractIn 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 notable effects of past climatic changes upon human societies. This study explored the relationship between climatic change and war in China by comparing high-resolution paleo-climatic reconstructions with known war incidences in China in the last millennium. War frequencies showed a cyclic pattern that closely followed the global paleo-temperature changes. Strong and significant correlations were found between climatic change, war occurrence, harvest level, population size and dynastic transition. During cold phases, China suffered more often from frequent wars, population decline and dynastic changes. The quantitative analyses suggested that the reduction of thermal energy input during a cold phase would lower the land carrying capacity in the traditional agrarian society, and the population size, with significant accretions accrued in the previous warm phase, could not be sustained by the shrinking resource base. The stressed human-nature relationship generated a 'push force', leading to more frequent wars between states, regions and tribes, which could lead to the collapse of dynasties and collapses of human population size. War frequencies varied according to geographical locations (North, Central and South China) due to spatial variations in the physical environment and hence differential response to climatic change. Moreover, war occurrences demonstrated an obvious time lag after an episode of temperature fall, and the three geographical regions experienced different length of time lags. This research also shows that human population increases and collapses were correlated with the climatic phases and the social instabilities that were induced by climate changes during the last millennium. The findings proposed a new interpretation of human-nature relationship in the past, with implications for the impacts of anomalous global warming on future human conflicts. © Springer 2006.en_HK
dc.languageengen_HK
dc.publisherSpringer Verlag Dordrecht. The Journal's web site is located at http://springerlink.metapress.com/openurl.asp?genre=journal&issn=0165-0009en_HK
dc.relation.ispartofClimatic Changeen_HK
dc.titleClimatic change, wars and dynastic cycles in China over the last millenniumen_HK
dc.typeArticleen_HK
dc.identifier.openurlhttp://library.hku.hk:4550/resserv?sid=HKU:IR&issn=0165-0009&volume=76&spage=459&epage=477&date=2006&atitle=Climatic+Change,+Wars+and+Dynastic+Cycles+in+China+over+the+Last+Millenniumen_HK
dc.identifier.emailZhang, DD:zhangd@hkucc.hku.hken_HK
dc.identifier.emailJim, CY:hragjcy@hkucc.hku.hken_HK
dc.identifier.emailLin, GCS:gcslin@hku.hken_HK
dc.identifier.emailWang, JJ:jwang@hkucc.hku.hken_HK
dc.identifier.emailLee, HF:harry.lee@graduate.hku.hken_HK
dc.identifier.authorityZhang, DD=rp00649en_HK
dc.identifier.authorityJim, CY=rp00549en_HK
dc.identifier.authorityLin, GCS=rp00609en_HK
dc.identifier.authorityWang, JJ=rp00648en_HK
dc.identifier.authorityLee, HF=rp00646en_HK
dc.description.naturelink_to_subscribed_fulltext-
dc.identifier.doi10.1007/s10584-005-9024-zen_HK
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-33746195625en_HK
dc.identifier.hkuros119361en_HK
dc.relation.referenceshttp://www.scopus.com/mlt/select.url?eid=2-s2.0-33746195625&selection=ref&src=s&origin=recordpageen_HK
dc.identifier.volume76en_HK
dc.identifier.issue3-4en_HK
dc.identifier.spage459en_HK
dc.identifier.epage477en_HK
dc.identifier.isiWOS:000239166300011-
dc.publisher.placeNetherlandsen_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridZhang, DD=9732911600en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridJim, CY=7006143750en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridLin, GCS=7401699741en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridHe, YQ=7404942217en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridWang, JJ=7701342886en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridLee, HF=9243348000en_HK

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