KOTHIKKUM BOOMI: Adhi Valliappan; Aazhi Pathippagam, 12,

I Main Road, United India Colony, Kodambakkam, Chennai-600024. Rs. 60.

EVEN RELATIVELY recently, the phenomenon of global warming occurring since the beginning of the industrial era was a subject of controversy. Whereas some scientists denied its very existence, others proposed hypotheses based on causes such as variations in solar radiation for the observed rise in temperature. Now there is wide agreement in scientific circles that the anthropogenic greenhouse gases are causing a rise in the average temperature of our planet. Global warming remains controversial, however, with public and political debates raging about what needs to be done and by whom to halt or reverse it.

Adhi Valliappan covers evenly the various aspects of this topical subject. First he provides an outline of the greenhouse effect and the trend seen in the climate data of the last 50 years. Then he describes changes noted in various ecosystems, such as coral bleaching that are ascribable to global warming. He proceeds to the impact of this phenomenon on humans worldwide. Two chapters are devoted to the ongoing political arguments about the responsibilities of various nations and to the heavy reliance of current human activities on fossil fuel that underlies the problem. The author reserves one chapter for what individuals can do to ameliorate the situation. Valliappan’s able handling of technical descriptions in this pioneering Tamil work is notable. A timely book.