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The Synthetic Characteristics of Chinese Traditional Disasterology and its Value on the Research of Global Change

Song Zhenghai (CAS, Beijing)

China is a country with frequent disasters. Ancient China attached importance to the study on disasters. It had a higher level in the research and wealthy records on natural disasters and abnormal. Traditional disasterology and records had synthetic characterstic. This will bring the special and important role on the research of global change.

  1. The concept of viewing disasters as whole and the system of synthetic disasters forecasting. Ancient

    China protected life and property from monitoring and synthetic research on macro-natural disasters and

    abnormal. Although it has precision instruments nowadays to micro-survey, forecasting ist also difficult. But

    it is trustworthy under the synthetic forecasting system from long-period to short-period by traditional

    concept of disaster as whole.

  2. The historical natural records are the information treasure-house. Ancient China payed an attention to

    the records on natural disasters and abnormal. It not only had a great quantity, but also had a continous

    long-period, many styles and a powerful synthetic character. Modern scholars have recognized it is the

    informational treasure-house of natural history, which is ancient Chinese contributing to the modern world.

    This will bring the special role on the research of global change.

  3. Many styles of the table on natural disasters and abnormal and its modern research of relations of


  4. Concept of "Yuan Dao" (Т劊, Chinese concept of cycle) and periodic analyses. Traditional "Yuan Dao"

    pointed out that there were clear periods in nature. Under its influence, the periodic analyses on the table

    of disasters and abnormal have found many periods, such as 60 years periods etc.

  5. The group period of synthetic natural disasters and abnormal. It is easy to find the period of single

    natural disaster and abnormal. Therefore, some periods, such as "Little Ice Age" in climatology, "Maunder

    Minimum" about solar cycle, were found by western scholars. But the group periods of synthetic natural

    disasters were found and confirmed by Chinese scholars with the deep traditional foundation of culture. The

    periods which they have found are: Cosmic Period in Ming and Qing Dynasties, Flood Period of Xia Dynasty and Cosmic

    Period in Han Dynasty.

  6. Historical Naturology. The wealthy historical data of natural disasters and abnormal puts forward the

    research on natural history in ancient time. From 1930s, historical natural geography, historical

    climatology, historical hydrogeography, historical seismology, historical astronomy, historical biology were

    established or developed. In the end of 1970s, synthetic research developed. From 1980s to 1990s, historical

    naturology emerged, and formed a scientific system.

  7. The concept of viewing the nature as whole and modern astro-geo-science. Under the direction of the

    concept of viewing the nature as whole, Chinese scholars study the astronomic background of the Global

    Change from the rich records of cosmic and earth phenomena. Astronomic seismology, astronomic geology, astronomic

    climatology, astronomic meteorology and the whole astro-geo-science developed quickly.

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