No other creature has had an impact on the physical environment of Earth as human beings have and it is not a wonder that the scientists world over are debating over the idea of naming a new geological era – Anthropocene.
Ancient humans were greatly influenced by their interaction with the natural environment. They adapted to the dictates of Nature, and so the level of technology was very low and the stage of human social development was also primitive.
With the passage of time, people began to understand their environment and the forces of nature. As humans became more knowledgeable about nature, no longer fearing its fury, they began to move from a state of necessity to a state of freedom.
Humans were able to develop technology only after they developed a better understanding of natural laws. For example, understanding concepts of friction and heat helped humans to discover fire, understanding of the secrets of DNA and genetics enabled humans to conquer many diseases.
With social and cultural development, humans began to develop better and more efficient technology.
Human modification of the physical environment saw an acceleration with the industrial revolution in the 19th century. This age saw a manifold rise in human productivity with the use of concepts, theories, machines and entrepreneurship.
With increasing productivity came increasing resource dependence. The resource an individual need to survive now is more than ten times what an individual required 300 years ago.
Hence, a growing population and ever-increasing hunger for more, is driving the world's resource to its breaking point. The effects of human actions are also visible.
The average global temperature on Earth has increased by about 0.8° C since 1880 (NASA’s GISS), and efforts are going on to reduce the emission of harmful gases into the Earth’s atmosphere.
Days are hotter, water is scarcer, winters are colder, air is polluted so has water, oceans have large patches of plastic (plastic islands), glaciers are melting, ice caps are thinning, animals are becoming extinct, plants are dying off, sea level is rising, and on and on are the effects of human impact on the physical environment.
It might not be wrong to assume that humans have begun to play a parasitic role in the Earths physical environment. Humans are slowing killing the Earth’s ability to sustain life and, in the process, killing itself.
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Answer the followNCERT - Fundamentals of Human Geography