Long-term relationship between climate change and nomadic migration in historical China
Qing Pei, Department of Geography and International Centre for China Development Study, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
David D. Zhang, Department of Geography and International Centre for China Development Study, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
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We investigated the relationship between a 2000-year history of nomadic migration and climate change in historical China. By using updated data and statistical methods, the study solved several unanswered questions from past research about the relationship between climate change and the nomadic migration, especially over the long term and on a large spatial scale. The study used correlation analysis, multiple regression analysis, and Granger causality analysis to quantitatively verify the following causal pathway: climate change → nomadic migration → conflicts between pastoralists and agriculturalists. In the long term, precipitation was a statistically more influential factor on nomadic migration than temperature in historical China. How climate change affects the migration of nomadic minorities in the long term is theoretically explained based on the Push-Pull model as well as statistical evidence.
climate change; historical China; nomadic migration; pastoralist–agriculturalist conflict; quantitative analysis
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