Climate change may have brought down the Tang Dynasty – Scenta

  Db  Images Tang Dynasty China 140X140

As Communist Party leaders wring their hands over what to do with China’s rising temperatures, a new report suggests an atmospheric temperature shift may be what led the fall of the mighty Tang. From Science, Engineering & Technology News:

The Tang dynasty is famed for a flowering of art and literature and for prosperity brought by trade with India and the Middle East. It spanned for nearly three centuries from 618 AD to 907, before it was overwhelmed by revolt.

An international collaboration between scientists in Germany and China have looked at sedimentary cores taken from a lake at Zhanjiang in coastal southeastern China, opposite the tropical island of Hainan, to uncover the truth behind the revolt. They found that over the past 15,000 years, there had been three periods in which the winter monsoon was strong but the summer monsoon was weak.

…The first two periods occurred at key moments during the last Ice Age, while the last ran from around 700 to 900AD, with each coinciding with what was, relative to the climate era, unusually cold weather…What eventually brought down the dynasty were the prolonged droughts, which caused significant crops failures and subsequent peasant uprisings. [Full Text]

This comes on the heels of another report, announced earlier this week, suggesting global warming may lead to significant reductions in staple crops in the coming decades.

January 4, 2007 3:21 PM
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Categories: Environment, Sci-Tech