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Two thousand years of Chinese climate history: what it tells us

22 Jun 2022 | Science Notes

From the CO2Science Archive: Introducing their study of the past two millennia of China’s climate history, Ge et al. (2016) write that “because of the long history of Chinese civilization, there are abundant and well-dated documentary records for climate variation over the whole of the country, as well as many natural archives (e.g., tree-rings, ice cores, stalagmites, varved lake sediments and corals) that enable high-resolution paleoclimatic reconstruction.” And, therefore, they set about to review a number of such studies to see what they have to tell us. So what did they learn?

Paper reviewed: Quansheng Ge, Jingyun Zheng, Zhixin Hao, Yang Liu & Mingqi Li. 2016. Recent advances on reconstruction of climate and extreme events in China for the past 2000 years. Journal of Geographic Sciences 26: 827-854.

The five Chinese scientists determined that there were four significant warm periods and four significant cold periods over the past two millennia. And of most interest to us today, they report that “the intensity of regional heat waves, in the context of recent global warming, may not in fact exceed natural climate variability seen over the last 2000 years.”

In similar fashion, Ge et al. report discovering that “extreme droughts as severe as those seen in Sichuan and Chongqing in 2006 are known to have occurred during historical times.” And so it is that we find today’s climate alarmists erroneously expressing great concern about what would appear to be nothing unusual or unprecedented about the degree of warming and the frequency and severity of droughts that have been experienced in China – and likely much of the rest of the world as well – over the course of the industrial era.

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