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Climate Change and Human Evolution

The Earth’s climate has undergone constant changes and still continues to change. In approximately 650,000 years, seven cycles of glacial advance and retreat has been recorded. 7000 years ago marked the end of yet another ice age and it marked the beginning of modern climate era and that of human civilization.

Research on human evolution clearly depicts that environmental instability was the key factor that evolved human adaptations. As humans began to spread out they also started to adapt to various geographical environment. These adaptations lead to more advanced thinking and creation of more sophisticated tools. The first human tools date back to around 2.6 million years ago. Study of these tools show that early humans redesigned their tools to meet the conditions of their environment.

400,000 years ago, constant earthquakes continually changed the Earth’s landscape, so did the flora and fauna. Keeping in pace with these changes human tool making took a new dimension. Various tools were made to meet different needs. Bulkier stone tools gave way to more precise sharp edged lighter tools. Some of the new tools helped the humans to access their food easily, for example the use of projectile weapons like sharp edged tools attached with handles allowed them to hunt their fast and dangerous prey from a distance. Grindstones were found to have been used in processing plant foods. Further there was evidence of tools used to make cloths out of animal skin for humans who inhibited colder environments. Climate was a major factor that attributed the human evolution.


By: Madhuchanda Saxena