Climatic Change and Dynastic Cycles in Chinese History : a Review Essay

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)565-573
Journal / PublicationClimatic Change
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010


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. © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.