I have written this essay to address what I regard as a pressing need among China historians for a stronger model of climate change and its impact on state and society during the imperial period. We have all become acutely conscious of climate change as an element of our own world, yet few of us have considered the impact of climate, particularly climate change, on our subjects of study. China is not without its climate historians, and yet the collective research is still in an early phase. Aware of this problem for some time, I published preliminary findings in the form of a chronological profile of climate anomalies through the Yuan and Ming dynasties in 2010. Burying my findings in a textbook has meant that the periodization offered there has captured the interest of some students but gone largely ignored by scholars in the field. Since then I have done further research and have revised some of those findings, and would now like to offer a fuller presentation of methods and findings.
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