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Yun Su, Yuan Kang, Xianshuai Zhai, and Xiuqi Fang

Abstract

Climate change affects relationships between regions. The sequence of peacemaking events between farming and nomadic groups in northern China from the Western Han to the Qing dynasty was constructed based on historical documents. We analyzed the impacts of climate change on ethnic relationships using war and temperature sequence data from previous studies. The main results are as follows: 1) There were 504 peacemaking events between farming and nomadic groups, with an average frequency of 2.4 times per decade. Paying tribute (68.9%) occurred significantly more frequently than intermarriage for pacification (31.1%). The sequences showed different stages. 2) There were more peacemaking events during cold periods and fewer during warm periods. Intermarriage for pacification played a greater role in peacemaking during warm periods, while paying tribute was more important during cold periods. 3) High-incidence stages of war and of peacemaking events alternated. Peacemaking events occurred more frequently during cold periods and wars occurred more frequently during warm periods. 4) During warm periods, farming and nomadic groups had enough power to contend with each other, wars occurred frequently, and intermarriage was often used for peacemaking. During cold periods, agriculture and animal husbandry declined, both sides weakened, and the power difference between them usually increased. Wars rarely occurred, and paying tribute was often used for peacemaking. Ethnic relationships are affected by many factors. As a background factor influencing land productivity, climate indirectly affected conflict-resolution measures between farming and nomadic groups. We can hereby consider ways to manage interregional ethnic relationships under global climate change today.

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Tandong Yao, Yongkang Xue, Deliang Chen, Fahu Chen, Lonnie Thompson, Peng Cui, Toshio Koike, William K.-M. Lau, Dennis Lettenmaier, Volker Mosbrugger, Renhe Zhang, Baiqing Xu, Jeff Dozier, Thomas Gillespie, Yu Gu, Shichang Kang, Shilong Piao, Shiori Sugimoto, Kenichi Ueno, Lei Wang, Weicai Wang, Fan Zhang, Yongwei Sheng, Weidong Guo, Ailikun, Xiaoxin Yang, Yaoming Ma, Samuel S. P. Shen, Zhongbo Su, Fei Chen, Shunlin Liang, Yimin Liu, Vijay P. Singh, Kun Yang, Daqing Yang, Xinquan Zhao, Yun Qian, Yu Zhang, and Qian Li

Abstract

The Third Pole (TP) is experiencing rapid warming and is currently in its warmest period in the past 2,000 years. This paper reviews the latest development in multidisciplinary TP research associated with this warming. The rapid warming facilitates intense and broad glacier melt over most of the TP, although some glaciers in the northwest are advancing. By heating the atmosphere and reducing snow/ice albedo, aerosols also contribute to the glaciers melting. Glacier melt is accompanied by lake expansion and intensification of the water cycle over the TP. Precipitation has increased over the eastern and northwestern TP. Meanwhile, the TP is greening and most regions are experiencing advancing phenological trends, although over the southwest there is a spring phenological delay mainly in response to the recent decline in spring precipitation. Atmospheric and terrestrial thermal and dynamical processes over the TP affect the Asian monsoon at different scales. Recent evidence indicates substantial roles that mesoscale convective systems play in the TP’s precipitation as well as an association between soil moisture anomalies in the TP and the Indian monsoon. Moreover, an increase in geohazard events has been associated with recent environmental changes, some of which have had catastrophic consequences caused by glacial lake outbursts and landslides. Active debris flows are growing in both frequency of occurrences and spatial scale. Meanwhile, new types of disasters, such as the twin ice avalanches in Ali in 2016, are now appearing in the region. Adaptation and mitigation measures should be taken to help societies’ preparation for future environmental challenges. Some key issues for future TP studies are also discussed.

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