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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2014, Article ID 137803, 6 pages
Research Article

Crop Yield and Temperature Changes in North China during 601–900 AD

1Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research (IGSNRR), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), 11A Datun Road, Chaoyang, Beijing 100101, China
2Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center for Climate Change, Nanjing University, 22 Hankou Road, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210093, China

Received 24 April 2014; Revised 6 June 2014; Accepted 22 June 2014; Published 24 July 2014

Academic Editor: Richard Anyah

Copyright © 2014 Haolong Liu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Depending on the descriptions of crop yield and social response to crop failure/harvest from Chinese historical documents, we classified the crop yield of North China during 601–900 AD into six categories and quantified each category to be the crop yield grades. We found that the regional mean crop yield had a significant ( ) negative trend at the rate of −0.24% per decade. The interannual, multiple-decadal, and century-scale variability accounted for ~47%, ~30%, and ~20% of the total variations of crop yield, respectively. The interannual variability was significantly ( ) persistent across the entire period. The multiple-decadal variability was more dominant after 750 AD than that before 750 AD, while the century-scale variability was more dominant before 750 AD than that after 750 AD. The variations of crop yield could be partly explained by temperature changes. On one hand, the declining trend of crop yield cooccurred with the climate cooling trend from 601 to 900 AD; on the other hand, the crop yield was positively correlated with temperature changes at 30-year resolution with the correlation coefficient of 0.59 ( ). These findings supported that high (low) crop yield occurred in the warming (cooling) climate.