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Coursework example - Daisyworld
Pages 40 (10040 words)
Daisyworld refers to a model dynamical system where even very simple mechanisms interact in order to produce complex behaviour. It helps us in analyzing the possible steady states and facilitates the study of the response of the system under various conditions.
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The surface temperature of a lifeless planet would have changed dramatically with the increase in luminosity of the sun over geological timescales; on Earth, it has remained remarkably constant around temperatures suitable for life (s Harvey, 2003).
Daisyworld is a simplified model of an imaginary planet with just two species of daisies, black and white in order to demonstrate the way it happens. The growth rate of the daisies depends on their local temperature but the daisies modify this due to the differences in the way of absorbing radiation; black daisies have low albedo i.e. reflectivity and thus they heat up easily. On the other hand, white daisies with higher albedo tend to reflect the sun's radiation.
The Gaia hypothesis (Lovelock, 1972, 1979, 1988) came into the scene with the problem of determining the possibilities of life on Mars1. To carry out the experiments, it was neither easy not necessary according to Hitchcock and Lovelock (1966), to go to Mars. They claimed that all that was required is determination of the composition of the atmosphere of Mars. ...
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