Understanding Chinese Climate Sources

 Confucian philosopher Dong Zhongshu Source: Public Domain

Confucian philosopher Dong Zhongshu
Source: Public Domain

A new article in the journal Environmental History offers insight into classical Chinese sources on climate history. Although Chinese annals contain a wealth of weather data, putting this data to use meaningfully requires a careful understanding of the context in which the often-qualitative data were produced. As Pei and Forêt argue, Confucian “heaven-human induction theory,” in which the heavens communicated their displeasure with society or a ruler by sending weather omens, provides the fullest account of their intellectual underpinning. Read more about it here.