Global Warming and the Rise and Fall of Dynasties

The focus of this story is how a stalagmite showed cycles of drought related to the end of dynasties in China. Though, the stalagmite also shed light on global warming. Thought it was of interest to greens. -KW

(excerpt from) The Guardian, UK

Ancient cave yields clues to Chinese history
AP foreign, Sunday November 9 2008
By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID

AP Science Writer= WASHINGTON (AP) – A stalagmite rising from the floor of a cave in China is providing clues to the end of several dynasties in Chinese history.

Slowly built from the minerals in dripping water over 1,810 years, chemicals in the stone tell a tale of strong and weak cycles of the monsoon, the life-giving rains that water crops to feed millions of people.

Dry periods coincided with the demise of the Tang, Yuan and Ming dynasties, researchers report in Friday’s edition of the journal Science.

In addition, the team led by Pingzhong Zhang of Lanzhou University in China noted a change in the cycles around 1960 which they said may indicate that greenhouse gases released by human activities have become the dominant influence on the monsoon…

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