Dr. Madeleine Thomson, 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. Dr. Thomson is also senior research scientist at Columbia University’s International Research Institute for Climate and Society. Articles in the special issue covering climate-related impacts, adaptation and mitigation, will be published over the next few weeks.
[Photo: Dr. Madeleine Thomson]
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.
Dr. 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 Dr. Larry Stanberry and Dr. Wilmot James at Columbia University Medical Center and the School of International and Public Affairs, respectively.
In addition to her Columbia affiliations, Dr. Thomson is director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre (USA 430) 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, Dr. Thomson and colleagues Dr. Simon Mason and Dr. 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.
Dr. Thomson’s co-guest editor of the special issue is Dr. 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.