As we known, there are complicated relationships between climate change and evolutionary progression of human society, especially on a temporal and spatial scale of thousands of years.
However, the processes that dominate a society's emergence, resilience and collapse, and the complex interactions among such processes, operating within a small region, at a multicentury or even larger time scale, remain to be identified.
China's Hexi Corridor provides an opportunity to examine societal changes in relation to past climate change because of its distinct combination of climate, geography, human history and wide range of ethnicities.
Recently, a research group led by Prof. FENG Qi from Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources (NIEER) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences used long-term climate and interrelated social data to systematically analyse the role of climate change in historical social crises in Hexi Corridor over the last two millennia.
The study proposed a domino effect resulting from a society's failure to respond to climate change in which individual small problems created a greater challenge over long time spans.
Besides, building resilience against the impacts of climate change required a deep understanding of social and environmental feedbacks to create a reliable buffer against future changes.
Furthermore, this study also discussed how building societal resilience could potentially allow a society to bear the consequences of events that may be driven by climatic change.
This study offered lessons learned from the past 2,000 years that remain relevant today, given the projected changes in climate and extreme events.
The study result was published In Nature Sustainability.
52 Sanlihe Rd., Xicheng District,
Beijing, China (100864)