By Echo Xie, South China Morning Post – 15 May 2022
The collapse of a Tibetan kingdom in the 17th century may have been caused by falling temperatures, researchers have said.
The Guge kingdom was founded in western Tibet at the end of the 10th century and flourished for about 700 years before collapsing in the 1630s.
Its defeat by the neighbouring Ladakh kingdom ended its existence as an independent state, but then the population and society collapsed in the region.
Some researchers have attributed this to the large-scale loss of life to the war, but some researchers have said that explanation alone is not enough and argued that environmental factors are also to blame.
But the latest study has found evidence that the local temperature fell by about 4 degrees Celsius between the 14th and 17th centuries, contributing to diminished crop production and the kingdom’s downfall.