Chinese cave 'graffiti' tells a 500-year story of climate change and impact on society

University of Cambridge—An international team of researchers has discovered unique ‘graffiti’ on the walls of a cave in central China, which describes the effects drought had on the local population over the past 500 years.

The information contained in the inscriptions, combined with detailed chemical analysis of stalagmites in the cave, together paint an intriguing picture of how societies are affected by droughts over time: the first time that it has been possible to conduct an in situ comparison of historical and geological records from the same cave. The results, published in the journal Scientific Reports, also point to potentially greatly reduced rainfall in the region in the near future, underlying the importance of implementing strategies to deal with a world where droughts are more common. Read more.