Madeleine Burns ’24
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Impacts of High-latitude Land-Climate Interactions on Arctic Climate Change
Certificate(s): Applications of Computing
I analyzed how plant responses to increased CO2 concentrations impact polar amplification, the observed pattern that warming occurs at a faster rate at northern latitudes. Because plant reactions to increased CO2 concentrations have not been thoroughly studied, narrowing uncertainty in this area will enable more accurate predictions of future warming. I focused on the albedo feedback response, in which a decrease in surface reflectiveness (for instance, a reduction in snow cover) results in an increase in absorbed heat, contributing to an increase in global temperatures. I used Earth system models from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project to isolate plant physiological changes due to increased CO2 concentrations. Then, I quantified the physiologically driven albedo feedback contributions and analyzed the contributing mechanisms. This project provided a valuable opportunity to expand my data analysis and visualization skills while working with large sets of climate model data. The experience furthered my interest in climate modeling and instilled a curiosity about atmospheric and geological sciences, leaving me inspired to pursue these subjects further at Princeton.
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