Madeleine Thomson Named Guest Editor of Special PLOS Medicine Issue

Original story published by the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health

Madeleine Thomson, a senior research scientist at IRI and a senior research scholar in the department of environmental health sciences at Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, is a co-editor of PLOS Medicine‘s upcoming special issue on Climate Change and Health. Articles in the special issue covering climate-related impacts, adaptation and mitigation, will be published over the next few weeks.

The issue includes research articles covering a wide range of climate change related health topics including predicting reduced crop nutritional content on the one hand and increased health disparities on the other, due to increased carbon dioxide levels associated with climate change. In addition the effects of climate change on demands for increased air conditioning and predictions on future mortality linked to added emissions from power plants are presented. In a study looking at ozone emissions and population change projections, researchers show future changes in ozone-related acute mortality under different climate and population change scenarios in 104 cities across China.

Thomson is also a co-author of the issue’s editorial titled “Climate change and health: Moving from theory to practice” which emphasizes the need for practical responses that the health sector can take today. She has also co-authored an article for the special issue which focuses attention on the specific needs of children “Prioritizing Children in a Changing Climate” with colleagues Larry Stanberry and Wilmot James at Columbia University Medical Center and the School of International and Public Affairs, respectively.

In addition to her Columbia affiliations, Thomson is director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre on Early Warning Systems for Malaria and other Climate Sensitive Diseases. Her research interests include the development of climate information services for the health sector in order to better understand and predict epidemics of Zika, meningococcal meningitis, malaria and other climate sensitive diseases. This spring, Thomson and colleagues Simon Mason and Pietro Ceccato launched a new one semester elective course in the environmental health sciences department “Climate Information for Public Health Action” which builds on her extensive experience in this area.

Thomson’s co-guest editor of the special issue is Jonathan Patz, director of the Global Health Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who also has appointments in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies.