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Temporal And Spatial Variations Of Climate In China During The Last 10 000 Years

Zhaodong Feng, L.G. Thompson, E. Mosley-Thompson, Tandong Yao

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Archaeological, geological, historical, tree-ring and instrumental data indicate that the last 10 000 years were characterized in China by climatic variations at various temporal and spatial scales. The period from 10 000 to 9000 BP was one of increasing temperature. The Holocene 'Optimal Period' occurred approximately between 9000 and 3000 BP, within which there were two major cool episodes around 7300 amd 5700 BP and one minor cool episode around 4500 BP. During the cool period from 3000 BP to AD 1900 (Neoglaciation) three warm episodes occurred about 2700-2000, 1400-1000 and 800-700 BP. The last millennium was characterized by warming in the first half and cooling in the second half. During the most recent 500 years ('Little Ice Age'), relatively warm episodes occurred about AD 1520-1650, 1720-1840, and 1890-1945. Over the long term, climate appears to have changed synchro nously from the east to the west and from the south to the north; but it has changed asynchronously over the shorter term.