PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2018, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (4): 485-494.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2018.04.004

• Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Characteristics of temperature changes during the past millennium along the Ancient Silk Road

Zhixin HAO1,2, Yani LIANG1,2, Yang LIU1,2, Xiu GENG1,2, Jingyun ZHENG1,2,*()   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Land Surface Pattern and Simulation, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2018-02-03 Revised:2018-03-20 Online:2018-04-20 Published:2018-04-20
  • Contact: Jingyun ZHENG
  • Supported by:
    National R&D Program of China, No. 2017YFA0603300;National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 41671036


Based on the recently published multi-proxies temperature reconstruction series (longer than 1000 years) along the Ancient Silk Road, combined with the dry and wet condition variation reconstructions, the general characteristics of temperature changes were analyzed and the regional differences of dry and wet condition variations were compared for the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA, AD950-AD1250) and Little Ice Age (LIA, AD1450-AD1850). The main conclusions are: the centennial temperature variations during the past 2000 years experienced warm epochs in the 1st-3rd century, the latter part of the 7th century to the early of the 11th century, the mid-12th century to mid-13th century, and since the 20th century; and cold epochs during the 4th century to the early 7th century, the middle of the 11th century to the early 12th century, and the end of the 13th century to the mid-19th century. The phases of warm and cold condition and fluctuations at decadal-centennial temporal scales differed among the various regions. The wet and dry condition variations during the MCA and LIA also exhibited regional differences, which was larger during the MCA than the LIA on the Guanzhong Plain and in the Hexi Corridor of China, and the climate was dry during the MCA and wet during the LIA in the arid region of Central Asia. The climate was drier during the MCA than the LIA in the south of Scandinavia and the middle and northern parts of Europe, and in the central part of this region the variation was large during the LIA. In contrast, Finland, northern Scandinavia, and Russia had wetter climate during the MCA.

Key words: Ancient Silk Road, past millennium, temperature change, Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA), Little Ice Age (LIA), difference of dry-wet condition between MCA and LIA