Yi Jin Toh ’25
Marine Heat Waves and Their Impact on Ocean Biology
Marine heat waves are prolonged periods of anomalously warm water that can impact regional climate and ecosystems. These impacts are partially mediated by changes to phytoplankton growth, the base of the oceanic food chain. Existing literature estimates the impact of marine heat waves on phytoplankton growth by averaging phytoplankton responses. However, it could be helpful to observe how phytoplankton responses evolve in conjunction with other biogeochemical processes in the ocean. I used simulation data from the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory’s Earth System Model to explore the characteristics of marine heat waves in several regions of interest. Then, I calculated the climatologies for nutrients, phytoplankton, and other variables and investigated how they are impacted by marine heat waves. We found that phytoplankton in the same region can respond differently to marine heat waves depending on factors including season, phytoplankton species, and marine heat wave intensity. Many further questions arose from these results, and I am excited to continue working with my mentors to answer them. Overall, this internship was an inspiring experience for me – it solidified my passion for coding and, as a result, I’ve decided to take more applications-based coding classes and possibly even major in Computer Science.
Extreme Weather and Impacts
Deutsch Research Group, Department of Geosciences, Princeton University - Princeton, New Jersey
Curtis Deutsch, Professor of Geosciences and the High Meadows Environmental Institute; Graeme MacGilchrist, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Program in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences; Marion Alberty, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Program in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences