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《QUATERNARY SCIENCES》 1998-01
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PALEOCLIMATE INFERRED FROM THE CHINESE HISTORICAL RECORDS OF THE NORTHERN BOUNDARY OF MIGRATORY LOCUST

Zhang De'er(National Climate Center, Beijing 100081)Chen Yonglin(Institute of Zoology. Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100080)  
It is an endeavor to get evidence of the past climate from various avenues in thePaleoclimate research. To infer the past climate from bio-evidence is recognized as aneffective way. This study tries to make an attempt using the historical records aboutthe insects.China is one of main distributive regions of the Migratory locust, Locustamigratoria (Linnaeus). There are many detailed records about the migratory locustgenerations or disasters in the historical documents. The migratory locust is apoikilothermal animal. There are many systematic conclusions about its Physiologicaland ecological characteristics. Those conclusions can be used as inferential bases forhistorical climate reconstruction.The annual latitude data of the northern boundary of the locust generations ordisasters were collected from the historical documents. It shows that the northward orthe southward movements of the boundary are great. The locust generation bine of thelocust generation at the north of 41°N is signed in figure 1. Hulan (on the north ofHarbin), whose latitude is 46°N, in Heilongjiang Province was at the northern edge.The research conclusions used in this study about the physiological and ecologicalconditions of the locust are that:(1) the migratory locust can not complete generation development when the daysin which winter temperature is lower than - 10℃ exceeds 30;(2) the locust egg can maintain for 15 days when the soil temperature is lowerthan --10℃, and 5 days when the soil temperature is lower than - 15℃, namely,the locust egg can not survive when the days in which the soil temperature is lowerthan -10℃-15℃ exceeds 15 or 5,separately.The migratory locust can not generate at present at the sites in figure l,becausethe days when the winter temperature is lower than- 10℃ greatly exceeds the lowerlimit (30 days) needed by the migratory locust to complete generation development Inaddition, the locust egg at the sites in figure 1 can not hibernare and survive in thepresent conditions from the point of view of the earth temperature. It indicates thatthe winter temperature of the bine of the migratory locust generation at the listed sitesin figure 1 is higher than that of the present.Based on the research by Ma Shijun etc., Chengde (40° 58' N, 117° 50' E) is onthe northern edge of the region where the real generation number of the modernmigratory locust of our country reaches one. That the climate conditions of Chengdeare recognized as the initiative conditions of the migratory locust generation is used toinfer the past temperature at the migratory locust generation sites. Compared with thepresent climate conditions in Chengde, the difference of the winter temperaturebetween the historical and the present bine can be derived (in Table 1).The inferences in Table 1 are based on the research conclusions that thetemperature is a major factor affecting the development of the migratory locust andthe low winter temperature is one of the lethal factors to the hibernate locust egg.However, the temperature is not the unique factor. It should be indicated that theinference in this study is made with the assumption that other ecological environmentalconditions are not anomalous and the temperature is the unique factor. This is anexploration in finding new evidences when the information is not enough.Some knowledge about the winter temperature conditions of those years can beconcluded as followed:(1) The period of 1162 to 1177A.D. corresponds to the Southern Song Dynasty.From the analysis, it is warm in winter in some areas, such as Liaoyang, with theaverage temperature in January is 2℃ higher than that of today.(2) The period of 1265 to 1280A.D. corresponds to the beginning of the YuanDynasty. From the analysis, the average temperature in January at Chifeng, Kaiyuanand Liaoyang etc. in some years is 2℃ higher than that of today. ms period is inthe proposed phase of the so-called Medieval Warming Period (900-1300A.D.). Theinference in reference[5] based on the historical records of the cultivated crops is thatthe average temperature in Janu
【Fund】: 国家自然科学基金!49575262
【CateGory Index】: P467
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