Professor of Sociology and Environmental Studies Andrew Jorgenson has been appointed by the United States Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) to serve as an author for the Fifth National Climate Assessment (NCA5), a report that will synthesize the state of the science, both physical and social, on global climate change.

Jorgenson, an environmental sociologist in his fifth year as chair of the Sociology Department, is tasked with taking the lead in synthesizing research on the anthropogenic drivers of climate change, which refer to the human actions that cause climate change and the societal factors that shape and condition those actions.  

NCA5, slated to be released in late 2023, will undergo substantial review by various federal agencies as well as by members of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Andrew Jorgenson

Andrew Jorgenson (Peter Julian)

“This is an honor, a big responsibility, and I’m very humbled and excited to collaborate on this major endeavor,” said Jorgenson, co-author of the recent book Super Polluters: Tackling the World’s Largest Sites of Climate-Disrupting Emissions and approximately 115 peer-reviewed research articles on the human dimensions of climate change and other related topics.

Jorgenson is the coordinator of the Global Environmental Sociology Lab at Boston College, a community of faculty and graduate students conducting research on the human dimensions of global and regional environmental change, with a focus on the drivers of energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, industrial pollution, land cover change, and relationships between environmental conditions and population health.

“There has been growing effort for the past few decades in the U.S. and throughout the world to integrate more environmental social science into research and policy concerning climate change,” said Jorgenson. “This is absolutely essential given that climate change is primarily caused by human activities, requires complex solutions that will involve nontrivial changes to our social institutions, and is one of the most serious crises the world is facing.

“Doing this kind of work wouldn’t be possible without the support I receive here at BC, for which I’m very grateful,” added Jorgenson.

Established by presidential initiative in 1989 and mandated by Congress in the Global Change Research Act of 1990, the USGCRP is charged with developing and coordinating a comprehensive and integrated U.S. research program which will assist the nation and the world to understand, assess, predict, and respond to human-induced and natural processes of global change. Comprising 13 federal agencies, the USGCRP is required to prepare and submit to the president and Congress a quadrennial assessment, referred to as the National Climate Assessment. Prior assessments were released in 2000, 2009, 2014, and 2018.

Kathleen Sullivan | University Communications | September 2021