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Daisyworld - Coursework Example

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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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Download file to see previous pages 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. The atmosphere of Mars should be at chemical equilibrium (which is true) in the absence of any form of life on the planet. Similarly, if the atmosphere were not at equilibrium just like Earth, then this would strongly support the possibility of life on mars.

Lovelock believed that the Planet Earth should be studied as an organism due to the analysis that the general activity of the planet can effectively indicate the existence of life on it. The characteristic properties exhibited by the living things like respiration, metabolism, self-regulation, irritability and reproduction can be studied for the determination of life. To consider earth as an organism is just a matter of choice of great researchers but it certainly posses many properties similar to organisms.

The key objections that have been raised to the Gaia hypothesis are based on the evolution theory. Arguments are there on the consideration of Earth as an organism believing that organism properties arise only through natural selection. There is no particular mechanism so that the Earth can maintain the favourable conditions for the biota and hence there is no need to consider the matter (Dawkins, 1982). Continuous arguments were present about the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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The importance and influence of James Lovelock in geography
Though Lovelock has postulated numerous ideas over time but he is most famously recognised for his Gaia hypothesis. This hypothesis postulates that the biosphere surrounding the Earth regulates itself independently and possesses the capacity to keep the planet’s environment in a healthy state.
6 Pages(1500 words)Essay
Environmental Science Questions
Earth’s atmosphere is rich in oxygen (21 percent) and nitrogen (79 percent) as a product of its complex biology as well as the presence of freshwater masses and oceans. Comparatively, Venus, which is less endowed with water, has an atmosphere with 96 percent carbon dioxide, 3.5 percent nitrogen and less than one percent other gases.
5 Pages(1250 words)Essay
The Symbiotic Planet by Lynn Margulis
The apple tree fixes the carbon from the air, and the Mycorrhyzal fungi at its roots help in extracting minerals from the earth. If we look closely, we see symbiotic relationships everywhere in nature- many plants and fungi, plants and animals, animals and bacteria live in symbiotic relationships Symbiosis is the relationship between two different living creatures, which live close to each other and depend on each other in particular ways, each getting particular benefit from the other, according to the dictionary.
2 Pages(500 words)Book Report/Review
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