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What ancient Chinese roofs can tell us about climate change

By Florian Urban, Professor of Architectural History, Glasgow School of Art
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To reconstruct a picture of past climates, scientists often examine trapped bubbles in ice cores or the width of rings inside old trees. A new study, published in Science Advances by researchers at Nanjing University in China suggests that there may even be clues to changes in past weather conditions in buildings.

The researchers compared data on shifting weather patterns between AD750 and 1750 with examples of preserved roofs built in China during the millennium. They found that during periods with heavier…


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