Known as the “cradle of Chinese civilization,” the Yellow River was the birthplace of the prosperous northern Chinese civilizations in early Chinese history. However, the Yellow River is also referred to as “China’s Sorrow” because of its frequent and devastating flooding.[/caption]
For thousands of years, Mother Nature has taken the blame for tremendous human suffering caused by massive flooding along the Yellow River, long known in China as “China’s Sorrow” and “Scourge of the Sons of Han.”
Now, new research from Washington University in St. Louis links the river’s increasingly deadly floods to a widespread pattern of human-caused environmental degradation and related flood-mitigation efforts that began changing the river’s natural flow nearly 3,000 years ago.
. “Human intervention in the Chinese environment is relatively massive, remarkably early and nowhere more keenly witnessed than in attempts to harness the Yellow River,” said T.R. Kidder, PhD, lead author of the study and an archaeologist at Washington University.
“In some ways, these findings offer a new benchmark for the beginning of the Anthropocene, the epoch in which humans became the most dominant global force in nature.”
Read the full story in The Source: Humans have been changing the Chinese environment for 3,000 years