The long view

The long view

China: likes it hot?

It may not be what they want to hear in Copenhagen, but some Chinese academics think global warming could be positive. “In the long term, warming may not be a curse but a blessing to China,” Wang Zijin – an environmental historian at Beijing Normal University – told the South China Morning Post. Chinese archives track thousands of years of climate change – and it turns out China was more prosperous during hotter periods: the Shang Dynasty (1600 BC-1046 BC), the Eastern Zhou Dynasty (the era of Confucius) and the Tang Dynasty (when China was thought to account for 60% of global GDP). Wang says that as China gets warmer it will be possible to grow rice and bamboo along the Yellow River, and that areas of Gansu and Inner Mongolia will become more habitable.

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