Ben Buchovecky ’23



Project Title

Impacts of High-latitude Land-Climate Interactions on Arctic Climate Change

Presentation Link

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I studied how the plant response to increasing CO2 impacts Arctic warming via heat transport. I did this by analyzing the output of six climate models from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (phase 6). As CO2 concentrations increase, plants respond via multiple physiological changes that can warm land surface temperatures. Climate models simulate plants to varying degrees of complexity, but their impact on global warming has remained unclear. My team and I first analyzed spatial maps and histograms, from which we found that the Arctic warming contribution driven by plant physiology was significant and distinct from natural variability. We then calculated atmospheric and implied oceanic heat transports into the Arctic from surface and top-of-atmosphere heat fluxes. From this analysis, we found that there is a multi-model mean increase in northward heat transport, but significant inter-model spread prevents a clear conclusion and necessitates further analysis. This internship provided me valuable experience in the fields of atmospheric science and climate dynamics and taught me new analysis techniques in the programs Python and NCL that are readily applicable in other research contexts. Working closely with my mentors on this project reinforced my interest in pursuing a research career in climate science.

Internship Year


Project Category

Extreme Weather and Impacts


Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington - Seattle, Washington


Kyle Armour, Associate Professor of Atmospheric Sciences and Oceanography, University of Washington; Abigail Swann, Associate Professor of Atmospheric Sciences and Biology, University of Washington; Lily Hahn, Ph.D. candidate, University of Washington; Claire Zarakas, Ph.D. candidate, University of Washington