Researchers find repeated link between volcanic eruptions and dynastic collapse in China’s Imperial Era


Peer-Reviewed Publication

TRINITY COLLEGE DUBLIN

Volcanic eruptions may have triggered abrupt climate changes contributing to the repeated collapse of Chinese dynasties over the past 2,000 years, according to new research published today [Thursday, 11 November 2021]. 

The study also illustrates how volcanic eruptions can profoundly impact vulnerable or unstable regions and highlights the need to prepare for future eruptions.  

The research, which combines historical evidence with polar ice-core records of volcanic eruptions, was led jointly by historians and environmental scientists from Trinity College Dublin and Zhejiang University, China. It will be published today in Communications Earth & Environment, a new high-profile journal from Nature Portfolio.

Scientists have identified explosive volcanic eruptions as one of the most important drivers of dramatic changes in climate, often triggering sudden cooling and drying that can cause livestock death and crop damage. However, our understanding of the role played by such abrupt climate shocks in state or societal collapse has been limited by the precision and accuracy of dating of available historical and climate evidence. 

Dr Francis Ludlow, Associate Professor of Medieval Environmental History at Trinity, who jointly led the study, commented: 

“China has a remarkably long and richly documented history of multiple ruling dynasties, including major world powers like the Tang Dynasty, which collapsed in 907 CE, or the Ming Dynasty, which collapsed in 1644. With so many precisely dated collapses, we can look not just at individual cases of collapse that may or may not have followed a change in climate, but rather look simultaneously at many collapses to see whether there is a repeated pattern where a change in climate was followed by collapse. This can tell us whether climatic change played a very minor role in dynastic collapse, or whether it posed a systematic threat to these powerful and sophisticated societies.” 

The study compared the dates of volcanic eruptions gleaned from ice-core measurements of sulphate deposited on the polar icesheets with the dates known from historical records of Chinese dynastic collapse across the first two millennia of the Common Era. This exercise found that 62 of the 68 dynastic collapses were closely preceded by at least one volcanic eruption.

John Matthews, postdoctoral fellow at the Trinity Centre for Environmental Humanities and co-author on the paper, explained:  

“Researchers have identified a lot of historical eruptions through sulphate deposits in the polar ice, so we expect that some collapses will have been preceded by eruptions purely by chance. To convince ourselves we were seeing something significant, we ran the numbers and found there would be just a 0.05% chance of seeing so many collapses preceded by so many eruptions if that had actually happened randomly. This study shows a repeated link between volcanic eruptions and dynastic collapse.”  

Some dynasties, the authors note, withstood numerous large eruptions before eventually succumbing, suggesting that the role of volcanism in collapse is far from straightforward and that dynasties were often resilient to sudden, volcanically triggered, climate shocks. 

To gain further insight, the researchers assessed the role of explosive volcanism in tandem with other sources of stress or instability that a dynasty might experience by examining levels of warfare prevailing in the decades before collapse. Warfare was found to be elevated before most collapses, but the study also revealed a strong link between the magnitude of a volcanic climatic shock and the level of pre-existing stress. 

“We found that even a small volcanic eruption might help trigger a collapse when pre-existing instability was high. Larger eruptions, however, could trigger a collapse even when pre-existing instability was minimal. So as ever, historical context is key to understanding how climate can impact a society. It is also clear that we should be preparing for the impacts of the next big eruption – so far in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, the eruptions we’ve experienced have been minnows compared to some that these dynasties had to deal with.”

Chaochao Gao, Associate Professor, Zhejiang University, China, who co-led the research concluded: “This study tells us how important it is to build a resilient society to cope with the natural hazards that we face, be they volcanically-induced or otherwise.” 


JOURNAL

Communications Earth & Environment

DOI

10.1038/s43247-021-00284-7 

SUBJECT OF RESEARCH

Not applicable

ARTICLE TITLE

Volcanic climate impacts can act as ultimate and proximate causes of Chinese dynastic collapse

ARTICLE PUBLICATION DATE

11-Nov-2021

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November 14, 2021 2:03 am

“This study tells us how important it is to build a resilient society to cope with the natural hazards that we face, be they volcanically-induced or otherwise.” 

That will be fossil fuels or nuclear, then.

Solar and wind are weather dependent and so would go down first after volcanic eruptions.

bonbon
Reply to  Stephen Wilde
November 14, 2021 5:25 am

China has 150 nuclear plants on the drawing board. Trinity College has not shown an inkling of understanding what that means….

griff
Reply to  bonbon
November 14, 2021 9:33 am

How does this guy keep sneaking in here and posting this?

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  griff
November 14, 2021 11:44 am

Yes, it’s really annoying when trolls keep coming here posting obviously misleading and false information to try to promote their own quite blatant agenda.

Last edited 2 months ago by Zig Zag Wanderer
Robert Hanson
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
November 14, 2021 1:30 pm

+1

Kevin McNeill
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
November 14, 2021 1:44 pm

Good one!

Reply to  griff
November 14, 2021 4:30 pm

The gtiffter makes obvious ironic play.

Bill Powers
Reply to  Anti-griff
November 15, 2021 10:28 am

He has elevated Irony to an art form.

Stuart Hamish
Reply to  griff
November 17, 2021 10:23 am

Stephen Wilde is quite correct ‘griff’ ..Were there a repeat of the 535 – 36 volcanic dust veil disaster when the sun was obscured for months on end , [ Read the accounts of Cassiodoros John Malalas and Procopius ] photovoltaic panels would be rendered useless at a time of agricultural failures and cold temperatures when cheap reliable energy would be essential for a society to function….Cloudiness and atmospheric opacity impair photovoltaic capacity and can even crash solar grids ..Look at what happened in Alice Springs on a cloud day Only those with no understanding of history and the security liabilities of solar and wind turbines would push these technologies as viable alternatives to fossil fuels and nuclear power …

Stuart Hamish
Reply to  Stuart Hamish
November 19, 2021 3:27 am

Stephen Wilde after the manner of Associate Professor Chaochao Gao I should say ….. They understand the importance of a robust and reliable energy infrastructure to cope with unpredictable natural hazards and conflict …….Imagine if there was another volcanic aerosol veil over Europe or North America like the 535 – 36 disaster or not so long ago in time , the 1783 Laki haze ..To reiterate – photovoltaic power and wind turbines would be next to useless in those conditions …Read the historical descriptions of the 1783 Laki pall over Europe that lasted for weeks .

Richard (the cynical one)
Reply to  Stephen Wilde
November 14, 2021 6:16 am

And every dollar spent on fragile and tenuous renewables is a dollar gone, wasted, unavailable for shoring up what needs to be a robust and resilient energy infrastructure.

Peta of Newark
November 14, 2021 2:40 am

Volcanoes can be messy things, locally and in the short term

Quote:”other sources of stress or instability that a dynasty might experience by examining levels of warfare prevailing in the decades before collapse. Warfare was found to be elevated before most collapses, but the study also revealed a strong link between the magnitude of a volcanic climatic shock and the level of pre-existing stress.

So what were they fighting about – Phlogiston, dancing angels, tickets for abba reunions?
They were fighting over territory, land, soil dirt.

So what was wrong with the soil they already had, why did they want their neighbour’s patch?
Surely Shirley, not because they’d trashed their own fields. Cutting trees. Overgrazing. Eating sugar. Protective burning. Not calling in the army?

They’d pushed and pushed and pushed and chopped and slashed and burned and grazed and ploughed and eaten everything right to The Very Limit

So when a puff of smoke, waft of dust, a Fohn Effect wind came out the sky, it took them down. It was their singularity. They’d been trying to work out the division by zero, taking the divisor smaller and smaller, constantly trying trying to get something more out of nothing.Aiming for, believing in, Immortality and the Free Lunch

Safe in the knowledge that (whatever passed for a) God was on their side. They had Dominion.

God being the source of Natural Variation and because they’s survived that for 30+ years, were indestructable and all that they’d been doing was ‘good’.
As its supposed to be, As it always has been. Lovely and Never Better. Just like Open Parkland in fact.
That they ate so much sugar helped with that sort of thinking considerably

sound familiar…………….

Joao Martins
Reply to  Peta of Newark
November 14, 2021 3:46 am

.

Last edited 2 months ago by Joao Martins
Michael S. Kelly
Reply to  Joao Martins
November 15, 2021 3:42 pm

Best comment on this list….Blank.

Reply to  Peta of Newark
November 14, 2021 6:15 am

Don’t know why you were downvoted – I found that ‘take’ somewhat insightful and humorous as well.

AntonyIndia
Reply to  Peta of Newark
November 14, 2021 7:34 am

Those peaceloving, non imperial Han wade wars???

Observer
Reply to  Peta of Newark
November 14, 2021 9:08 am

Peta of Newark, you have a lot to learn about human nature…

Jay Willis
November 14, 2021 3:20 am

” This exercise found that 62 of the 68 dynastic collapses were closely preceded by at least one volcanic eruption”

So what? What’s closely mean? And consider that 68 of the 68 was closely preceded by easter. We need more rigour and more pictures.

Felix
Reply to  Jay Willis
November 14, 2021 7:09 am

That’s my take too. 68 dynasties in 2000 years (why did they not start with the first dynasty, which memory sez was in somewhere around 200 BC? When is the end of his era, 1911 or so when the last emperor died or was disposed? Does he include 1949, or Mao’s death?) is 30 years per dynasty, and unless “closely” means within a year, it sounds too flexible to be useful. How many volcanic eruptions were there without a dynasty falling? I’m also suspicious of that “68” count, since memory sez, again, there have only been a half dozen dynasties; maybe he means something different. Maybe he is counting all the minor warlords fighting amongst themselves between dynasties; some of those interregnums lasted hundreds of years. In which case, there were probably hundreds or even thousands of minor warlord dynasties to pick and choose from.

Rick W Kargaard
Reply to  Felix
November 14, 2021 7:59 am

Yes, there are enough volcanic eruptions that it must be nearly impossible not to find correlation. I would also question the resolution and the accuracy of the data used for this “study”.
It looks like an excuse to string a bunch of words together to gain credit for a published work.
Excuse me if I do not take it seriously even if it has some slight appearance of plausibility. They do not explain how a burp in the climate might affect a civilization. I know, weather can sink ships and destroy infrastructure, but climate. Most states would develop adaptations suitable for the climate of their area with margins for error built in.
I think most dynasty collapse was caused by military action of neighbors.

Felix
Reply to  Rick W Kargaard
November 14, 2021 8:49 am

That last should include internal corruption, just as with all inherited power: Roman emperors, Tudors, Hanovers, Charlemagne, Tsars, Rockefellers all provide sterling examples of dynasty founders leading to followers leading to squanderers. Democracies replace individual dictators by class dictators, but the principle is the same. The US had founders respecting individual rights, replaced by framers paying lip service to individual rights, replaced by democrats who submerge individual rights for the greater good.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Rick W Kargaard
November 14, 2021 12:20 pm

“Yes, there are enough volcanic eruptions that it must be nearly impossible not to find correlation.”

I’m with you.

How many dynasties have collapsed recently from volcanic eruptions?

John Tillman
Reply to  Felix
November 14, 2021 8:30 am

The Communist dynasty can’t end soon enough.

Felix
Reply to  John Tillman
November 14, 2021 8:42 am

But by his expansive definition, there would no communist dynasty, only Mao and Xi and others in between.

John Tillman
Reply to  Felix
November 15, 2021 11:07 am

The Communist Party of China is 100 years old, but its dynastic rule began only in 1949, so just Mao to Xi and whatever genocidal tyrant might succeed the latter.

Mike Dubrasich
Reply to  John Tillman
November 14, 2021 2:38 pm

No doubt, but a volcanic eruption isn’t going to get it done.The impulse to blame Everything on Climate Change is sucking out the brains of wacky-demics.

Tombstone Gabby
Reply to  Felix
November 14, 2021 3:44 pm

G’Day Felix,

 How many volcanic eruptions were there without a dynasty falling?

Thank you for asking the question I had.

Ron Long
November 14, 2021 3:25 am

Volcanic eruptions, to include large ones, are so common that they probably correlate with almost everything. Also, there is a difference between a really large volcanic eruption (8 on the Volcanic Explosivity Index), which affects the hemisphere (like Krakatoa), to a lesser eruption (2 on the VEI), but adjacent to your city.

SxyxS
Reply to  Ron Long
November 14, 2021 6:36 am

I think the density of volcanic “dirt” that can be found are a much better indicator for the impact.
( eruptions with low emission of ashes/soot should be irrelevant even when they are superstrong as only a small radius of some dozen miles will be significantly effected while a group of small volcanic “chimneys” with permanent output can have a much bigger impact on climate than a strong eruption )

Anyways,this theory once again indicates that it is not warming we shall fear but cooling.
Maybe that’s why the Anasazi survived 4 decades of drought before they went the way of the dodo while Greenlands Vikings disappeared as fast as the mammoths.

stewartpid
Reply to  SxyxS
November 14, 2021 8:16 am

The mammoths did not disappear “fast” …. check it out … this is a good start. Mammoths: Giants of the Ice Age: Lister, Adrian, Bahn, Paul, Green, Richard, Auel, Jean M.: 9780520261600: Books – Amazon.ca

SxyxS
Reply to  stewartpid
November 14, 2021 9:06 am

Hoped this was a link to an article and not a book sale.Thx for nothing

Craig from Oz
Reply to  stewartpid
November 16, 2021 12:23 am

Jean Clan of the Cave Bear Auel?

She of ‘their brains became bigger until they were forced to stop learning new things least the heads of their babies no longer fitted through the birth canal’ fame?

Tom
Reply to  SxyxS
November 14, 2021 11:18 am

Don’t be foolish. It was not cooling that did them in, it was Climate Change. All you have to do to see that is read the article carefully./s

John Tillman
Reply to  SxyxS
November 15, 2021 11:09 am

The mammoths took millennia to disappear.

2hotel9
November 14, 2021 3:33 am

This can’t possibly be true! Only humans can make the climate change, get with the program! Before humans existed the climate was perfect and NEVER changed. 😉

Scissor
Reply to  2hotel9
November 14, 2021 5:38 am

Good sarcasm.

Chinese culture would tell us not to forget the role of higher powers via “The Mandate of Heaven.” It basically says that Heaven grants the emperor the right to rule. One supposes that Heaven is in control of volcanoes, while man is not.

2hotel9
Reply to  Scissor
November 14, 2021 10:24 am

Lets hope Faux Joe doesn’t put Horizontal Harris in charge of them, we would REALLY be screwed, then. Or not, she may just not show up.

n.n
Reply to  2hotel9
November 14, 2021 12:53 pm

The Colossal Climate Stasis (CCS) Theory, where nary the perturbation, confluence, delta, and blocking were known. Of course, this preceded the Urban Blacktop Effect (UBE) and Green Environmental Blight (GEB).

Last edited 2 months ago by n.n
glenn holdcroft
Reply to  2hotel9
November 14, 2021 7:47 pm

Of course , it’s not the sun or even natural CO2 that effects the climate .
It’s Human produced CO2 that’s the control knob , even Greta knows that ,the science is settled , just ask Al Gore ,J. Kerry and most our other elite intellectual leaders .

fretslider
November 14, 2021 3:35 am

“Researchers find repeated link between volcanic eruptions and dynastic collapse in China’s Imperial Era

Scientists have identified explosive volcanic eruptions as one of the most important drivers of dramatic changes in climate”

Surely not?. According to the griffian fount of all climate knowledge these researchers have it the wrong way round:

“How climate change triggers earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanoes

…heavy rains have been implicated in triggering eruptions of the active lava dome that dominates the Soufrière Hills volcano. Stranger still, Alaska’s Pavlof volcano appears to respond not to wind or rain, but to tiny seasonal changes in sea level. “

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/16/climate-change-triggers-earthquakes-tsunamis-volcanoes

Perhaps our griff can expand on this for us?

Serge Wright
November 14, 2021 3:45 am

So all we need is to work out a way to create a big eruption. Maybe it also works on green Marxists living outside China 🙂

fretslider
Reply to  Serge Wright
November 14, 2021 3:48 am

Green Maoism is global.

n.n
Reply to  fretslider
November 14, 2021 12:55 pm

The Great… Green Leap

Joao Martins
November 14, 2021 3:48 am

Did they also find any volcano eruption to “explain” Trump’s victory in 2016?

bonbon
Reply to  Joao Martins
November 14, 2021 5:30 am

It was a political eruption, with fallout all the way over to London, and a tsunami of MSM. Likely triggered by a Brexit magma chamber. Aftershocks to follow…

SxyxS
Reply to  Joao Martins
November 14, 2021 6:38 am

Any body will create antibodies to survive a viral infection.

commieBob
November 14, 2021 5:27 am

Some dynasties, the authors note, withstood numerous large eruptions before eventually succumbing, suggesting that the role of volcanism in collapse is far from straightforward and that dynasties were often resilient to sudden, volcanically triggered, climate shocks.

Dynasties have a life cycle. They grow, become great, fade, and finally collapse. Every Chinese school child understands that.

It is unsurprising that an environmental shock precipitates the final collapse. It’s like the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

The other thing that might cause a dynasty to collapse would be a horde of invaders from the north. That explains the Great Wall and its predecessors. link

Just like Dr. Mann’s fraudulent hockey stick, we once again have scientists who aren’t actually well educated.

bonbon
Reply to  commieBob
November 14, 2021 5:37 am

Genghis Khan from the North targetted specifically China’s intensive agricultural infrstructure causing a famine with 35 million victims. Tibet was the only region the Khan did not obliterate – and it adopted the Khan’s religion – see the Book of the Dead. No wonder the SS liked Tibet – their insignia was straight Tibet.
Today Tibet has the most modern rail (with O2 masks), and the Khan is long forgotten.

commieBob
Reply to  bonbon
November 14, 2021 6:31 am

Genghis Khan may have benefited from an abnormally warm and wet climate. It enabled him to consolidate power in Mongolia and ravage outward from there to establish a great empire. link

Observer
Reply to  bonbon
November 15, 2021 6:44 pm

Ghengis was a Buddhist?

I don’t think so.

DHR
November 14, 2021 5:52 am

It seems to me that what the “researchers” found is that there are frequent changes in historic Chinese governance and frequent volcanoes affecting China. I cannot see that they showed that volcanoes caused the governance changes.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  DHR
November 14, 2021 12:38 pm

Did the eruption of Mount Pinatubo cause any governance changes?

It’s eruption was powerful enough to lower the global temperature by about 0.5C for a year or two.

Most people not in the immediate vacinity of the volcano hardly noticed any effects. Certainly nothing that would cause a government to collapse.

Last edited 2 months ago by Tom Abbott
Old.George
November 14, 2021 6:31 am

Be Prepared.
Climate is local in time and place. The way it has usually been for the last two or three generations is the local climate. Gradual change can easily be accommodated; sudden change not so much.
Be prepared for both extremes. In case of runaway warming, wouldn’t it be nice to have a stable power supply for cooling? In case of sudden cooling, wouldn’t it be nice to have a stable power supply for warming?
Fission is stable and safe these days. It is even a good idea if, impossibly, climate changes not at all.

Bob Hoye(@subtle2)
November 14, 2021 7:17 am

In the 1970s, Harvard astronomer Barbara Bell published about dynastic changes in Ancient Egypt.
After a warming trend with good crops, cooling forced hardship to, in some cases, famine.
With full control the governing classes lived and promised well, as ordinary folk suffered.
A key point was that the palace guards were of the people not of the governing classes. When things got desperate, the guards laid down their spears and the uprisings took down the pharaoh and his priestly advisors.
It happened a few times over centuries.
In 1989, East German border guards, who were not of the governing classes laid down their machine guns and East Germans went cross-border shopping.
The salient point was bringing down the Berlin Wall and Communist governments.
The “hinge” now are the Swamp Guards, aka “The Media”, which is beginning to change.

AndyHce
Reply to  Bob Hoye
November 14, 2021 11:46 pm

“The Media”, which is beginning to change.

You mean they are getting worse every day, no?

Rud Istvan
November 14, 2021 10:30 am

Late to this party. I think the research shows a spurious correlation.’66 out of 68’ associated with volcanos.
In essay Blowing Smoke in the book of same title, I showed there are 60-70 active volcanoes every year, averaging 66. I also showed that there is a VEI >= 4 about every 2-3 years. All those are sufficiently powerful to deposit volcanic residues in polar ice. So there must be major volcanic activity near the end of every Chinese dynasty, saying NOTHING about why the Dynasty fell.

The paper mentions the end of the Ming dynasty in 1644. It fell to a victorious rebel army led by a former minor Ming official. Nothing to do with volcanos.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Rud Istvan
November 14, 2021 12:44 pm

“saying NOTHING about why the Dynasty fell.”

Yes, they failed to make a connection there.

Stuart Hamish
Reply to  Rud Istvan
November 17, 2021 9:47 am

Protracted droughts forced the collapse of the Ming Dynasty that fell in 1644 AD to invading Manchu warriors and rebel warlords … Paleo – precipitation index’s from the Mongolian Plateau and the North China Plain show long severe droughts across 1600 – 1650 that depleted water resources and stymied agriculture leading to economic atrophy social distress and revolts. The 1637 – 1643 Ming Dynasty Megadrought was contestably the worst drought of the last 1000 years in China …How these droughts can all be linked only to volcanoes in a century of solar minima and extreme cold is just speculative guesswork . Sulphate deposits in the ice are one thing ..The Volcanic Explosivity Index [ VEI ] is another. The eruption of Tambora in 1815 did not set in motion the collapse of the Qinq [ that lasted into the 20th century ] yet it was one of the 2 or 3 upper scale VEI events of the Holocene and caused terrible freezing , famines and population losses around the world..Nor did the 1876 -78 drought that killed perhaps 10 million Chinese and 40 million globally . Its a lot more complicated There were times of dual house rulership and split empires such as the 6th century The Shang and Zhou Bronze Age dynasties are also imprecise ‘floating’ chronologies so it is difficult to fix specific eruptions ..One of the unique enduring features of Chinese civilization over 3800 years was the precarious Mandate of Heaven covenant that could be invoked by rebel challengers if the weather turned bad, people began dying of disease or some ‘ portentous omen such as an auroral display solar halo or meteor shower was seen in the sky …Consider the demise of the Yuan dynasty in the 14th century .China lost, by some estimates , 50% of its population between 1331 and 1350 in a series of floods, crop failures plague pandemics and other natural disasters when a widespread insurrection led by a peasant broke out in 1351/52 that finally succeeded in toppling the Mongol Yuan dynasty in 1368 . This was the era of the Black Death , plunging temperatures and famines in Europe that decimated 40 % of the continents people. Tree ring chronologies in the southern and northern hemispheres show reduced growth across the period 1320 – 1350 . My point is that insurgent warfare against a ruling dynasty can last decades and volcanic eruptions may not be implicated in the collapse of the Ming and the Yuan .The climatic disruption and human trauma of the 14th century was not caused by a cluster of volcanic eruptions. The ice core chemistry is of a different composition and it has not been comprehensively analyzed .. The Trinity College Dublin / Zhejiang University joint research project should make for fascinating reading and the general thesis is plausible ..Was the paleo-ecologist Mike Baillie emeritus professor of Queens University Belfast consulted ?….As I understand it ,he pioneered this line of research

Stuart Hamish
Reply to  Stuart Hamish
November 17, 2021 9:57 am

Source : ” Climate Change and the Rise of the Manchu From Northeast China During AD 1600 – 1650 ” , Climatic Change ,Vol 56 No. 3 Oct . 2019

Dusty
November 14, 2021 10:41 am

Took a look at Chinese dynasties on Wiki. Starting right after Qin (220-207 BC), there were 68 listed in those roughly 2000 years. There were 62 linked to volcano events. I didn’t notice whether the report indicated there being only 62 possible events or 62 coincided out of some number more. Anyway. Dividing 2000 years by 62 gives 32; by 68 gives 29, so basically the same.

Now looking at the cumulative years of the reigns of those 68 gives roughly 6000 years with a very wide range, roughly 10 to 200 ( former added in my head, latter now from memory)

Offhand, I don’t doubt volcanoes have an effect. I do question whether the affect was significant or even likely on 62 of them. The main reason is that there’s multiple dynasties and overlaps between them and tribal power flexing is seems much more significant since the volcano events affect all, ie, non-discrimintory and wouldn’t that be likely to force/introduce a truce.

Just some thoughts.

AndyHce
Reply to  Dusty
November 14, 2021 11:48 pm

Funny statistics is what a great deal of “research” is about these days. There is little or no need for it to actually make sense.

TonyN
November 14, 2021 10:59 am

some dynasties, the authors note, withstood numerous large eruptions

And some did not ….Er, Um , yeah

RoHa
November 14, 2021 5:39 pm

If volcanoes are erupting all over the place, that’s a pretty good sign that you’ve lost the Mandate of Heaven.

DMacKenzie
November 14, 2021 8:22 pm

Did anyone check on political upheaval in those Chinese records ? Much more likely than volcanoes as a cause of societal collapse….

Stuart Hamish
Reply to  DMacKenzie
November 19, 2021 4:37 am

The short lived Ch’in dynasty and its emperor were so despotic [ waging a ‘legalist’ year zero campaign of book burning and cultural purgation that must have riled Confucian conservatives ] that all it may have taken was a volcanic induced climatic downturn to foment insurrection in the provinces with the Han forces prevailing after the civil wars of 207 – 204 BC …This was a time of extreme environmental trauma across the northern hemisphere that vindicates the thesis of the Chinese and Trinity College researchers for this event. The evidence is compelling . Contracted tree ring growth bands in German [ 208 -204 BC] and Irish oak chronologies [207BC ] .. Terminal interruption of prehistoric Irish bog oak chronologies 197 +/-9 BC Frost damage in the 206BC rings of high altitude Californian bristlecones Sulphate acidity peak in the Camp Century Greenland ice core indicative of volcanic activity Skies obscured , stars indiscernable for three months in parts of China Severe harvest failure ,civil strife and famine in China 207 – 204 BC. Mandate of Heaven dynastic transition Ascension of Han Solar halos ,atmospheric disturbance witnessed in Roman records [ Livy ] Roman famines . This was documented 22 years ago and there must be additional evidence by now

David Priestley
November 15, 2021 1:24 am

For large parts of Chinese history multiple dynasties occupied the land mass of China. For example, the Southern Song dynasty ruled the south of China at the same time as the Jin dynasty ruled north China. There are many examples. Could the volcanoes pick and choose?

November 16, 2021 5:39 am

Since Volcanoes erupt every year color me skeptical.

Ian MacCulloch
November 16, 2021 12:57 pm

This article appeared in the South China Morning Post prior to a COP in Copenhagen in 2009. The link to the article is below:

http://www.scmp.com/article/700638/china-gives-history-lesson-warming

China gives history lesson on warming
Tuesday, 08 December, 2009, 12:00am
Stephen Chen
As the world begins 12 days of intense discussion in Copenhagen, Denmark, about how to combat climate change, the debate in China is about whether global warming is good or bad for China.
If 3,600 years of history is anything to go by, Chinese civilisation has flourished when temperatures have been at their warmest and declined when the climate cooled.
It is a relationship that could hold lessons for today, says Professor Xie Zhenghui , deputy director of the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ International Centre for Climate and Environmental Sciences

mikesmith
November 16, 2021 2:54 pm

From the paper, which at least for now can be read without a subscription:
“We find that the average number of eruptions occurring in our central window is higher than expected randomly at 99.95% confidence (p = 0.0005), whereas the average number of eruptions falling in adjacent windows is uniformly smaller, and none breach the 99% significance threshold”
SNIP
“To test the robustness of this result, we repeat our analysis using iteratively smaller lengths for our central and adjacent windows (i.e., using sets of central windows ranging in size from our initial 13-year [−10, 2] central window down to a 3-year [0, 2] window, with adjacent windows correspondingly varying in size for parity) to determine whether the observed statistical significance is highly dependent upon a specific choice of central window length. We find instead that the number of eruptions in every variant central window remains higher than expected randomly at 95% confidence or above (Fig. 2b; Supplementary Data 2). Such consistency is not observed for any adjacent window on either side of our central window.”
https://www.nature.com/articles/s43247-021-00284-7

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