Grace Liu ’23
Breaking the Ice: Trends in Intermittent Lake Freezing
I explored lake freezing as a local and tangible signal for climate change. We used a new approach to reconstruct freeze records of Princeton’s Lake Carnegie using newspaper archives. These records showed a decrease in the frequency and probability of ice skating over the past century. Subsequently, we extended our analysis to other intermittent ice-covered lakes in the National Snow and Ice Data Center’s Global Lake and River Ice Database and observed a similar trend of decreasing freeze events. Finally, we explored how ice intermittency might evolve globally in the future by building a model to classify intermittent ice-covered lakes and generate projections for various warming scenarios. From this experience, I learned how to process, analyze and visualize data, as well as how to use machine learning algorithms to classify data. More importantly, I learned how to ask questions, find answers and critique the results. My mentors fostered an environment of exploration and curiosity that was integral to the research process. As a result, this experience solidified my desire to pursue a career in academia, hopefully using computer science as a tool for environmental research.
Climate and Environmental Science
Vecchi Research Group, Department of Geosciences, Princeton University
Gabriel Vecchi, Professor of Geosciences and the High Meadows Environmental Institute; Nadir Jeevanjee, Research Physical Scientist, Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory; Sirisha Kalidindi, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Geosciences