By physical factor we mean, the surface of the earth, climate, rainfall, rivers, mountains, forests, animal life, minerals and such other geographical factors. They have great influence over the human society. Social change is caused by these physical factors.
The natural environment has an influence on the lifestyle of the people. People in a given society will have extremes of temperature, storm or earthquakes which can influence them to change their lifestyles or behaviors pattern. The ancient civilization of Egypt, Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley people are tricky because of the hot climate in which they live.
Crime rates, suicide rates and drunkenness change due to change in weather. The custom of killing female child and polyandry marriages in Tibet were practiced because geographical resources were poor there. Aristotle thought Europeans were cleaver because they lived in cold climate whereas the Asians were docile because they lived in a hot climate.
People living in the Northern Zones are slow and strong. They talk little. They are less sociable and changeable in their moral codes and so on. Laski argued that changes in the physical environment compel societies to look for new ways of dealing with the world and with one another. The geographer Ellsworth Huntington argues that temperate climates promote the rise of civilizations. He has given the example of the first civilization that developed in the fertile areas of the Middle East.