by S. Chen, Sep; 24, 2019 in ClimateChangeDispatch
Scientists say they have found evidence beneath a lake in northeastern China that ties climate change and 500-year sun cycles to ups and downs in the 8,000 years of Chinese civilization.
According to the study by a team at the Institute of Geology and Geophysics in Beijing published in the science journal Nature Communications this month, whenever the climate warmed, Chinese civilization prospered and when it cooled, it declined.
While historians have used various social and economic factors to explain changes over the millennia, Dr. Xu Deke, lead author of the paper, and his colleagues said that while people played their part, their study indicated that cycles in solar activity influenced human activity.
“We just point out there is a natural constraint on human efforts,” Xu said.
Previous research linking Chinese history to climate relied on written records, but ancient texts contained only subjective descriptions of the weather and social development. The records also go back only so far – writing in China was not invented until 3,600 years ago.
For this latest study, the team and its leader, Chinese Academy of Sciences professor Lu Houyuan, took plant and lake bed sediment samples to track climate change over the centuries and compared them with written records.