Topic: Public Health

Evaluating the Impact of Malaria Control Programs in Africa

Studies Show that Malaria Interventions are Critical Investments for Saving Lives in Africa New studies released today in a special supplement of the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene add to the evidence that over the last decade, global malaria control efforts have saved millions of children’s lives in areas most affected by malaria. […]

Leader of the World Health Organization Praises Columbia’s New Public Health Program

Excerpt from original story written by the Earth Institute’s Sarah Fecht.  When your child has a fever, you probably visit the doctor, pick up a prescription, and in no time, your kid is back to normal. When a population is suffering a disease outbreak, experiencing a food shortage, or reeling from a natural disaster, the […]

New Program Will Tackle Public Health Threats Around the Globe

Later today, Columbia University will launch a new program on Global Health Security and Diplomacy, which will sit at the Program for Global & Population Health. The program will cross sectors and disciplines, connecting three parts of the university: medicine and public health at the Columbia University Medical Center; climate information and health risks at […]

Defining and Predicting Heat Waves in Bangladesh

New research shows that in Bangladesh, heat wave predictability exists from a few days to several weeks in advance, which could save thousands of lives. In the United States, extreme heat events have killed more people in the last 30 years than has any other weather-related phenomenon. In Europe, at least 136,835 people died due […]

Tackling Sleeping Sickness in Maasai Communities

Powerful new tool helps rural Tanzanians reduce their exposure to tsetse flies and the deadly disease they carry. Pietro Ceccato remembers his first trip three years ago to a Maasai village located a two hour’s drive south of Arusha, Tanzania. He was there with a team of public health researchers to learn more about the […]

New Model Helps in Fight Against Deadly Parasitic Disease

IRI scientists and colleagues from South Africa are using satellites to detect seasonal water bodies that harbor schistosomiasis, the deadliest of the tropical neglected diseases Cole Porter romanticized the phrase in his 1936 song, but the probable origin of having someone — or something — under one’s skin is much less pleasant to consider. An […]

Could the Recent Zika Epidemic Have Been Predicted?

  • Journal: frontiers in Microbiology
  • Vol. 8
  • Published: July 2017

Author(s):

Muñoz, Ángel G.
Thomson, Madeleine C.
Stewart-Ibarra, Anna M.
Vecchi, Gabriel A.
Chourio, Xandre
Nájera, Patricia
Moran, Zelda
Yang, Xiaosong

Malaria risk increases in Ethiopian highlands as temperatures climb

The highlands of Ethiopia are home to the majority of the country’s population, the cooler climate serving as a natural buffer against malaria transmission. New data now show that increasing temperatures over the past 35 years are eroding this buffer, allowing conditions more favorable for malaria to begin climbing into highland areas. That is the […]

New paper highlights applications for subseasonal forecasts

A recent study was the first to comprehensively review the potential applications of subseasonal-to-seasonal (S2S) forecasts, and several affiliates of IRI were co-authors. Andrew Robertson, one of the IRI co-authors, said the paper provides a substantial overview of the progress achieved in S2S — i.e. forecasts issued with two-week to two-month lead times — over the […]

ENACTS Maprooms for Malaria Control

Climate data and tools for malaria control in Africa – the ENACTS initiative By Madeleine Thomson Public health policy makers and practitioners are increasingly concerned about the  impact that climate, environmental and social changes might have on the effectiveness of current and future vector-borne disease control and elimination programs. Yet, while climate change adaptation programs […]

IRI Scientists Present At Climate Services Conference

In late February, seven staff members and scientists from the International Research Institute for Climate and Society participated in the fifth International Conference on Climate Services. The conference, held in Cape Town, South Africa, focused on capacity development, including elements of formal and non-formal education, infrastructure and institutional capacity, as well as other components of […]

IRI @ AMS: Schedule of Events

“Observations Lead the Way” is the theme for the upcoming 97th annual meeting of the American Meteorological Society. Much, if not all, of the initiatives at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society rely on a critical mass of quality weather and climate observations. The presentations of IRI’s staff and scientists at this year’s […]

Health and Climate Colloquium Report

Earlier this year, the International Research Institute for Climate and Society and the Mailman School of Public Health, both of Columbia University, hosted the Health and Climate Colloquium 2016. The purpose of the Colloquium was to help build a global community of health practitioners and policymakers that can use climate information as a means to […]

IRI@AGU: Schedule of Events 2016

A range of IRI’s areas of expertise will be represented at this year’s annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU). Many of the presentations center on fundamental climate science, including analyses of the influence of climate variability and change on rainfall in the US, Iran, South America and the Sahel, as well as the […]

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Voices from CariCOF: Dry Season 2015-16

The Caribbean Climate Outlook Forum, also known as CariCOF, brings together climate scientists and meteorologists with decision-makers who may be able to use climate information. During the meeting, now held twice a year — once at the beginning of the dry season and once at the beginning of the wet season — the scientists present […]

Public Health in a Climate Context

To create and implement scientific solutions to climate change, we need a new generation of health professionals trained in the connection between climate and human health.  A global consortium on climate and health education hosted by Columbia’s International Research Institute for Climate and Society and Mailman School of Public Health will discuss the best scientific […]

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International Meeting: Connecting Health and Climate

Yesterday, Linda Fried, the dean of the Mailman School of Public Health, wrote about the crucial connection between climate and public health in a piece for the Huffington Post. Understanding and anticipating the ways in which climate change and variability can adversely affect human health, she wrote, requires a global commitment to share science and best practices […]

El Niño 2015 Conference Report

In November 2015, the International Research Institute for Climate and Society at Columbia University, in collaboration with the World Meteorological Organization, the U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, convened the El Niño 2015 Conference. The report from this conference is now available. In addition to recordings and summaries of the […]

Climate Remains a Question in Zika Virus Spread

The Wellcome Trust just published a Q&A with Columbia University/IRI’s Madeleine Thomson in which she explains the relationship between Zika and climate, as well her outlook for future epidemics and the role of climate science, excerpted in part below. How are Zika virus and the climate related? We know that virtually all vector-borne diseases have a climate dimension. […]

IRI@AMS 2016: Schedule of Events

From crowd-sourcing tornado data to teaching Harlem high-school students about climate change and climate justice, IRI scientists will be sharing a number of fascinating projects at the annual meeting of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) next week in New Orleans.  Below is a schedule of their presentations and posters. Presenting authors appear in bold. Crowd-Sourcing the Storm: A New […]

IRI@AGU: Schedule of Events 2015

The IRI has seven scientists and staff presenting on a wide range of topics at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Meeting this year. Andrew Robertson and Alexis Berg will present advancements in our fundamental understanding of earth’s systems. Eunjin Han, Pietro Ceccato and Pradipta Parhi will discuss methods for using our climate knowledge for applications in agriculture, health and […]

Climate Resilience (Animation)

Climate resilience: it’s the ability for communities to recover from the impacts of climate events. It’s the difference between weather being manageable…or a catastrophe. But for many parts of the world, where livelihoods depend so much on the climate, critical weather and climate information is unavailable or unusable. The International Research Institute for Climate and […]

Indonesia’s Parched Peatlands Burn Under El Niño

Indonesia on track for worst fire season since 1997 This post contains excerpts from a story published by IRI on Medium.com. View the full story, including data and additional graphics, here.  Written by staff from the International Research Institute for Climate and Society and NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Media can contact Francesco Fiondella. Much of western Indonesia is […]

Global Nutrition Report Highlights Role of Climate

Climate change is complicating global efforts to end malnutrition, and even small seasonal fluctuations make a difference says a new report.  According to the Global Nutrition Report released this week, there are actions leaders of every country should be taking to end malnutrition in all its forms. Among the report’s key findings: One in three members of […]

IRI @ Climate Week NYC 2015

Staff members from the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) are participating in a number of high-level events during Climate Week NYC  this year. See the schedule below, and follow the links for more information. Launch of the Global Nutrition Report Tuesday, September 22 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm, Hearst Building, New York Climate change is complicating global efforts […]

2015 El Niño: Notes for the East African Malaria Community

UPDATE: This publication was originally produced by IRI in June 2015. It has been updated monthly, and the October 2015 version is now available here [PDF].  Climate is one of many variables that influence where and when malaria outbreaks occur. Precipitation, humidity and temperature affect the development and survival of mosquitoes, with temperature also affecting the malaria parasites carried […]

World Malaria Day: What’s Climate Got To Do With It?

Today, April 25, marks the commemoration of World Malaria Day, instituted by World Health Organization (WHO) Member States in 2007 as an annual “occasion to highlight the need for continued investment and sustained political commitment for malaria prevention and control.” Climate is one of many variables that influence where and when malaria outbreaks occur. The International Research Institute […]

VIDEOS: A Host of Visitors

A walk through the International Research Institute for Climate and Society is often punctuated by the sounds of French, Spanish and other languages drifting through the halls. Our international staff contributes to this, but usually it’s a sign that we are hosting visitors for training and collaborations. Despite the increasing online connectedness of our world, […]

Science, Society and Sustaining Health

Science and technology must urgently be deployed to help reverse negative health trends, linked to nutrition and environment, according to a report commissioned by the Wellcome Trust, and launched today. The report is the result of a twelve-month series of workshops, research, academic submissions and an expert panel that was co-hosted by the International Research Institute on […]

New Information on Climate Drivers of Dengue Fever

*Original version of this release posted by Upstate Medical UniversityResearchers from Upstate Medical University, Columbia University’s International Research Institute for Climate and Society and other U.S. and international institutions have discovered new information on the climate drivers of dengue fever and social risk factors that may be contributing to its spread. Their findings were published in the […]

Fourth International Conference on Climate Services

The Climate Services Partnership is pleased to announce the fourth International Conference on Climate Services (ICCS 4), which will be held in Montevideo, Uruguay. The event starts this Wednesday, December 10 at 10:30 am UTC and runs through Friday, December 12, 2:30 pm UTC. ICCS 4 is being hosted by the Uruguayan Ministry of Agriculture, […]

IRI@AGU: Schedule of Events

The IRI has a record thirteen scientists and staff presenting at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Meeting this year. Below is the schedule of events for those presenting, organized by theme and with links to additional information about their research.  CLIMATE & HEALTH Climate and Population Health Vulnerabilities to Vector-Borne Diseases: Increasing Resilience Under Climate […]

El Niño and Global Health: Latest Bulletin

The Public Health group at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society has posted a new update of its bulletin on El Niño, focused on providing information to assist health planners and practitioners concerned with malaria in Eastern Africa. Emerging El Niño Conditions: Notes for the East African Malaria Community, takes into account IRI’s latest forecasts. As with previous bulletins, IRI […]

Data for Malaria Decision Making in Africa

Earlier this year, the International Research Institute for Climate and Society and Columbia Global Centers | Africa  supported a two-day meeting of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania called “Strengthening National Climate Data and Information for Malaria Decision Making in Africa”. The meeting, held August 4-5, provided an overview of existing […]

Climate and Health in Africa

  • Journal: Earth Perspectives
  • Vol. 1
  • Publisher: Springer
  • Published: June 2014

Author(s):

Madeleine C Thomson
Simon Mason
Barbara Platzer
Abere Mihretie
Judy Omumbo
Gilma Mantilla
Pietro Ceccato
Michel Jancloes
Stephen Connor

Field Notes: Climate, Health and the Maasai

IRI’s Pietro Ceccato recently attended the 2nd Capacity Building Workshop for the World Health Organization TDR/IDRC research initiative on Population Health Vulnerabilities to Vector-Borne Diseases: Increasing Resilience under Climate Change Conditions in Africa, held at the Nelson Mandela University in Arusha, Tanzania. He shares his observations here. Earlier this year, I attended a workshop in Arusha, Tanzania […]

Sustaining Health: Linking environment, nutrition and health

On Monday, September 22, senior research scientist Madeleine Thomson of the International Research Institute for Climate and Society will serve as a panelist for Sustaining Health: Linking environment, nutrition and health, an event co-hosted by the Wellcome Trust, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, Meteos and IRI.  She will join panelists and an expert audience of IPCC […]

Join us for Climate Week NYC 2014

The International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) is co-hosting several events during Climate Week NYC 2014. See the schedule of IRI events below, and follow the links for more information. If you are a member of the media and would like to attend any of the events, please write to media @ iri.columbia.edu. Sustaining Health Linking Environment, […]

El Niño and Global Health: Latest Bulletin

The IRI Health group has updated its bulletin, Emerging El Niño Conditions: Notes for the Global Health Community, to take into account the latest forecasts announced by the International Research Institute for Climate and Society yesterday. As with the previous bulletin, IRI lists several recommendations for improving risk management and disease surveillance in the face […]

Study: El Niño’s Impacts on Water, Agriculture and Health

By Ben Orlove and Ángel Muñoz A new study examines the degree to which decision makers working in key sectors–agriculture, water and health–have been able to make successful use of forecasts of El Niño and La Niña. We find that these forecasts have indeed often been put into use, but only when two conditions have been […]

El Niño Primer for the Global Health Community

With a moderate El Niño expected to develop later this year, the global health community is closely monitoring seasonal climate forecasts. A new bulletin released by the IRI addresses ways in which health decision-makers can use climate information to reduce the potential for negative health impacts. IRI is a WHO/PAHO Collaborating Centre for Early Warning Systems for Malaria […]

Jeffrey Shaman Wins CDC’s “Predict the Influenza Season” Contest

The Centers for Disease control and Prevention has awarded first prize for its “Predict the Influenza Season Challenge” to a team led by Jeffrey Shaman, an assistant professor at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University and a scientist affiliated with the International Research Institute for Climate and Society.  Shaman and colleagues developed a scientifically […]

Live from Kingston: It’s CariCOF

By Elisabeth Gawthrop and Mea Halperin The Caribbean Climate Outlook Forum (CariCOF) took place yesterday in Kingston, Jamaica. It is one of a number of Climate Outlook Forums (COFs) around the world during which scientists present a forecast to decision makers who work in climate-sensitive sectors such as agriculture, water management, disaster planning and health. The forecast […]

Q&A – Why care about CariCOF?

Next week, the Caribbean Climate Outlook Forum (known as CariCOF) will kick off in Kingston, Jamaica. At this event, both providers and users of climate information from across the Caribbean will discuss the upcoming season’s forecast and the ways the forecast might be used to make decisions in water resources, tourism and disaster risk management. To learn […]

Climate’s Role in Malaria

Today marks World Malaria Day, instituted by World Health Organization (WHO) Member States in 2007 as an annual “occasion to highlight the need for continued investment and sustained political commitment for malaria prevention and control.” The theme for this year’s World Malaria Day is Invest in the Future. Defeat Malaria.  The Investment of Research Climate is an […]

Climate Change: A Global Public Health Issue

By Madeleine Thomson, Senior Research Scientist For a long time people perceived climate change as an environmental issue–the concern of environmentalists, the concern of a few. It was reframed as a justice issue at the turn of the 21st century, when it became clear that those most likely to suffer the consequences of climate change […]

Scientists develop climate forecast model for meningitis

Note: Reprinted with permission. Copyright 2014 E&E Publishing, LLC. www.eenews.net/cw by Umair Irfan, E&E reporter The Harmattan, a dark, dusty northeasterly trade wind, dims the winter skies over West Africa and sows a deadly plague in its wake. The affliction, meningitis, can infect up to 200,000 people annually across the Sahel, but with regional climate […]

Climate Conditions Help Forecast Meningitis Outbreaks

by Michael Shirber, for Astrobiology Magazine Wind and dust conditions in Sub-Saharan Africa Africa can help predict a meningitis epidemic. Determining the role of climate in the spread of certain diseases can assist health officials in “forecasting” epidemics. New research on meningitis incidence in sub-Saharan Africa pinpoints wind and dust conditions as predictors of the […]

Flu Forecasting Website Posts First Predictions

Ongoing Flu Season Is Predicted to Peak in January for Most of the Country NEW YORK (January 13, 2014)—Infectious disease experts at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health have launched a website that reports weekly predictions for rates of season influenza in 94 cities in the United States based on a scientifically validated system. The […]

Interns Explore Epidemic, Crop Yield Predictions for IRI, NASA

Andrew Kruczkiewicz sits in front of his laptop, examining a map of South Sudan. The map shows precipitation across the country in varying shades of green. Kruczkiewicz is comparing maps of rainfall and other climate variables with epidemiological information over the same area. He and his research partner, Alexandra Sweeney, are both interns for NASA’s DEVELOP […]

IRI@AGU: Schedule of Events

Four IRI scientists and one PhD student are attending the 2013 AGU Fall Meeting. Below are links to Q&As with each of the presenters and the schedule of their posters and presentations. For additional information about the scientists’ work, search the conference program for their names here. Pietro Ceccato Q&A Poster: Development and Implementation of Flood […]

IRI@AGU: Inundation Detection for Public Health is “Far-out”

This post is the third in a series of Q&As with scientists from the International Research Institute for Climate and Society who will be presenting their work at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco December 9 to 13. Climate variability and change is an important facet of public health studies of infectious […]

Dengue’s Climate Connection

This article is a modification from the press release issued by SUNY’s Upstate Medical University. A study by an international team of researchers led by Anna M. Stewart Ibarra, Ph.D., at the Center for Global Health & Translational Science (CGHATS) at SUNY Upstate Medical University, has provided public health officials with information that will help decrease the […]

Climate Information for Public Health Action Network Volume 5 Issue 4

This 20th edition comes out a bit later than expected as we reconvene a new editorial team after the summer recess. While we reflect on the network that
has been developed and maintained over the years through this newsletter, the team will be looking at new ways of communicating with all of you and as
usual request your thoughts on the best way to do this. One suggestion is to create a group in LinkedIn or Facebook?

A Healthy Collaboration

Diseases influenced by climate include malaria, dengue fever and cholera. Changes in climate can alter how these and other infectious diseases develop and spread. Scientists at the International Research Institute for Climate Society (IRI) research ways to mitigate the effects of current transmission and future changes of such diseases as participants in the Pan American Health Organization […]

Climate and Society Students ‘Develop’ Research for NASA, IRI

Predicting malaria outbreaks before they occur and improving crop yield forecasts from space might sound like science fiction, but they’re projects going on at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI). This spring, Climate and Society students Caitlin Reid and Sunny Ng jumped headlong into them as part of a NASA internship. Reid and Ng worked with […]

Power Tool Helps Climate, Public Health Researchers Drill into Data

by Brian Kahn Health and climate are intrinsically linked, yet they rarely operate on the same scales. The flu doesn’t last all winter and malaria outbreaks don’t happen with the first drops of rain, yet deciphering the relationships of these and other infectious diseases with climate factors is vitally important to public health professionals. This […]

From Anopheles to spatial surveillance: a roadmap through a multidisciplinary challenge

  • Published: 2013

Author(s):

Obsomer, V., Titeux, N., Vancutsem, C., Duveiller, G., Pekel, J.F., Connor, S. Thomson, M., Ceccato, P., Coosemans, M.,

Visualizing Malaria from Space

By Elisabeth Gawthrop, Climate and Society ’13 Public health professionals are increasingly concerned about the impact climate variability and change can have on infectious diseases such as malaria, dengue fever and bacterial meningitis. However, in order to study the relationships between climate and health, researchers first need access to the appropriate kinds of climate data — an […]

Climate and Food Security in the Horn of Africa

The latest report from the US Agency for International Development’s Famine and Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) warns that the March-to-May rainy season for the Horn of Africa, also known as the “long rains”, is likely to perform poorly again this year. The agency has called for humanitarian organizations to “immediately implement programs to protect livelihoods […]

Climate Services: No need to wait for disasters to happen

This is the third of ten interviews with climate and development experts conducted at the International Conference on Climate Services, held at Columbia University in October 2011. Maarten Van Aalst is the Director of the Red Cross/Red Crescent Climate Centre. In this interview he talks about how the Red Cross is using climate information to mobilize […]

Early Warning Systems Chapter 8

  • Journal: Environmental Tracking for Public Health Surveillance
  • Publisher: CRC Press
  • Published: 2012

Author(s):

Ceccato P
Connor SJ

Health Risks From Famine Likely to Persist

In a video interview about the East Africa famine, IRI’s Madeleine Thomson, an expert in climate and public health, says the health consequences of the famine will be felt not only in the short term, but for years and decades to come: We know from the 1984 Ethiopia famine that the impacts are intergenerational. They […]

Climate Smart Public Health

What do hot summer days in Beijing and heavy rains in rural Colombia have in common? Both are climate events that can trigger a host of public health calamities. And they’re just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the ways that climate and health interact. Despite strong connectivity between the two disciplines, […]

Multimedia: Summer Institute

Since 2008, public-health professionals and climate scientists from around the world have come to Columbia University to take part in the Summer Institute on Climate Information for Public Health. Participants spend two weeks learning how to use climate information to make better decisions for health-care planning and disease prevention. The event is organized by the International […]

Important Gains Made in Global Effort to Control Malaria

A massive scale-up in the distribution of insecticide-treated mosquito nets and other control programs are helping to protect more than half a billion people in sub-Saharan Africa against malaria, according to the World Health Organization. In its latest World Malaria Report, the organization cited these efforts as contributing to significant but fragile decreases in malaria […]

Climate and Health Communities Training Together

For the third year in a row, public-health professionals and climate scientists from around the world are visiting Columbia University’s Lamont campus, where the International Research Institute for Climate and Society is based, to learn how to use climate information to make better decisions for health-care planning and disease prevention. They’re taking part in the […]

Climate and Meningitis in Africa – A Google Earth Tour

The International Research Institute for Climate and Society and Google are offering a guided tour of Africa to teach you about the relationship between climate and deadly meningitis outbreaks there. No need to pack your bags, though: it’s a virtual tour, one you can run on Google Earth from your living room. The climate and […]

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