Climate Information for Public Health Action: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Climate Information for Public Health Action

1st Edition

Edited by Madeleine C. Thomson, Simon J. Mason


244 pages | 37 B/W Illus.

Book Content Available Open Access*
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*Open Access content has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND) license

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Policy-makers are increasingly concerned about the impact of climate variability and change on the health of vulnerable populations. Variations and trends in climatic factors and extreme weather events impact many health outcomes, including malaria, heat stress and undernutrition.  

Climate Information for Public Health Action is based on the premise thatclimate knowledge and information can help protect the public from climate-sensitive health risks. With a focus on infectious disease, hydro-meteorological disasters and nutrition, the book explores why, when and how data on the historical, current and future (from days to decades) climate can be incorporated into health decision-making. Created as a collaborative effort between climate and health experts, this book targets a broad technical public health community, alongside development practitioners and policy-makers engaged in climate change adaptation. It may also guide climate experts in the development of climate services tailored to health needs. Written in an accessible, informative style, while maintaining the highest technical and scientific standards, it will also be a valuable resource for students and academics studying and working in the emerging field of environment and health.

The Open Access version of this book, available at, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license."


'Hotter, drier times, more severe (CAT-5) hurricanes and inundations are among the unfolding climate-induced changes for Caribbean SIDS. This book sets out the global context; a treasure trove of sound science, joined-up analyses and recommendations; a must-read for any thoughtful health professional concerned about the health of people and the planet.' -- C. James Hospedales, Executive Director, Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), Trinidad and Tobago

'This book is a great resource for anyone interested in the rising risks to human health in a changing climate – it provides an in-depth look at what information can help us to understand past, present and future risks, for better decisions and better outcomes.'Maarten van Aalst, Director, Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, The Netherlands

'At last, an informative reference book for practitioners in the growing discipline of climate and health! Drawing from a wealth of experience, Madeleine Thomson, Simon Mason and colleagues provide a useful background and guide for policy, as well as climate and health practitioners, to understand and mitigate climate impacts on the health of the most vulnerable populations.' Judy Omumbo, Programme Manager, Affiliates and Post-Doctoral Programmes, African Academy of Sciences, Kenya

'This book delves deep into relationships between health and climate variables and the data necessary to adapt to a warming world. For those who work in nutrition, it is a must-read, as food systems and diets garnered from those systems are, and will be, impacted by climate change.'Jessica Fanzo, Director of the Global Food Ethics and Policy Program, Co-Chair of the Global Nutrition Report, Johns Hopkins University, USA

'Climate Information for Public Health Action provides health professionals with critical insights into the weather and climate variables that can affect major causes of ill-health. Using this knowledge will improve the validity and robustness of research, and inform implementation of effective policies and programs to prepare for and manage these risks in a changing climate.' — Kristie L. Ebi, Director, Center for Health and the Global Environment, University of Washington, USA

'Almost all strategic goals in sustainable development include health and climate as they both have a prevailing influence on human wellbeing. If you are looking to understand how climate variability and change generate and exacerbate health threats; or innovative, practical ways to address them, this is the book for you.' -- Cheikh Mbow, Executive Director, START International, Washington D.C., USA

Table of Contents


By Elena Manaenkova

Chapter 1: Health Priorities in a Changing Climate

Madeleine C. Thomson, Tamer Samah Rabie, Joy Shumake-Guillemot, John McDermott, Wilmot James and Chadia Wannous

Chapter 2: Climate Impacts on Disasters, Infectious Diseases and Nutrition

Madeleine C. Thomson

Contributors: Delia Grace, Ruth DeFries, C. Jessica E. Metcalf, Hannah Nissan and Alessandra Giannini

Chapter 3: Connecting Climate Information with Health Outcomes

Madeleine C. Thomson, C. Jessica E. Metcalf and Simon Mason

Contributors: Adrian M. Tompkins and Mary Hayden

Chapter 4: Climate Basics

Simon J. Mason

Contributors: Madeleine C. Thomson

Chapter 5: Climate Variability and Trends: Drivers

Simon J. Mason

Contributors: Ángel G. Muñoz, Bradfield Lyon and Madeleine C. Thomson

Chapter 6: Climate Data: The Past and Present

Simon J. Mason, Pietro Ceccato and Chris D. Hewitt

Contributors: Theodore L. Allen, Tufa Dinku, Andrew Kruczkiewicz, Asher B. Siebert, Michelle Stanton, Madeleine C. Thomson

Chapter 7: Weather Forecasts: Up to One Week in Advance

Simon J. Mason and Madeleine C. Thomson

Contributors: Heat Action Group, Kim Knowlton, Hannah Nissan, Ángel G. Muñoz, Carlos Perez Garcia-Pando and Jeffrey Shaman

Chapter 8: Climate Forecasts for Early Warning: Up to Six Months in Advance

Simon J. Mason

Contributors: Madeleine C. Thomson and Ángel G. Muñoz

Chapter 9: Climate information for adaptation: From Years to Decades

Hannah Nissan, Madeleine C. Thomson, Simon J. Mason, Ángel G. Muñoz

Contributors: Glynn Vale, John W. Hargrove, Arthur M. Greene and Bradfield Lyon.

Chapter 10: Climate Information for Public Health Action: Challenges and Opportunities

Madeleine C. Thomson and Simon J. Mason

Contributors: John del Corral, Andrew Kruczkiewicz, Gilma Mantilla and Cristina Li

About the Editors

Madeleine C. Thomson is a Senior Research Scientist at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, Earth Institute, and a Senior Scholar at the Mailman School of Public Health, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, at Columbia University, USA.

Simon J. Mason is Chief Climate Scientist at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, Earth Institute, at Columbia University, USA.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Environment and Health

The study of the impact of environmental change on human health has rapidly gained momentum in recent years, and an increasing number of scholars are now turning their attention to this issue. Reflecting the development of this emerging body of work, the Routledge Studies in Environment and Health series is dedicated to supporting this growing area with cutting edge interdisciplinary research targeted at a global audience. The books in this series cover key issues such as climate change, urbanisation, waste management, water quality, environmental degradation and pollution, and examine the ways in which these factors impact human health from a social, economic and political perspective.

Comprising edited collections, co-authored volumes and single author monographs, this innovative series provides an invaluable resource for advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students, scholars, policy makers and practitioners with an interest in this new and important field of study.

If you are interested in submitting a proposal, please contact Annabelle Harris at [email protected]

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Sustainable Development
MEDICAL / Health Policy
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Environmental Policy