DaisyBall simulator screenshot
Run DaisyWorld / DaisyBall.

Questions for Thought and Exploration

The purpose of these questions is only to suggest games to play with the simulator. Do what's fun.

  1. Run DaisyWorld with the three Daisies scenarios 2 - black and white, 1 - black only, and 1 - white only. Notice for what range of luminosity the daisies manage to control the planet temperature in each scenario. Why can a single color of daisy control the planet temperature?

    Tip: Place your cursor over a plot point to read its value.

  2. Try the same three Daisies scenarios with Logic switched to DaisyBall, and compare.
  3. Compare DaisyWorld or DaisyBall running with 2 colors, vs. 16 colors, noting how well the scenarios control the planet's temperature. In what way is control better with more colors?
  4. Do you think control would be better if you set the low and high albedos (for black and white) to a wider spread? Try it, via the Advanced menu.

    Tip: Set Luminosity end to a higher value, if your runs are ending before all the daisies die off.

  5. You'll notice that the living area ("total daisies") doesn't exceed 70%. Look at the Advanced menu for the detailed parameters. The deathrate is set to 0.3, which may explain the living percentage being no more than 0.7. Play with the deathrate parameter. What does the deathrate do to the daisies' ability to control their environment's temperature? To the species mix?
  6. Using DaisyWorld logic, run the Insulation from 0 to 1.0 by .2's. What effect does this have on the daisies' control of the planet temperature?
  7. Wanna see something pretty? Try DaisyWorld in 30 species, changing the Deathrate to 0.2 and Convergence steps to 5. You could intellectualize about this pattern if you want, or just enjoy it and see if you can come up with others.
  8. At each luminosity increment, DaisyWorld runs "to convergence", or a maximum of Convergence steps calculations at that luminosity, before plotting a point. Try setting this down from 1000 to 5 for DaisyWorld. Where does the result differ from the original scenario? Try DaisyWorld in 6 colors with max steps set to 5, 10, 50, 100. Speculate on what's going on.

    Note: this is a deterministic simulation, no random component. The exact same parameters yield identical results.

  9. In the many-color scenarios with DaisyWorld logic, there are sometimes pre-peaks of a color before its decisive succession. Can you come up with a story about that?
  10. Stories like the one you just invented here are sometimes called "just-so stories". Do you think you could tell a "just-so story" from a valuable one when reading a scientific paper? How do you think people develop that kind of discernment?
  11. A massive volcanic eruption triggers high-level clouds worldwide, and Earth experiences cooler temperatures for months or years while the effects damp out. Why?
  12. Consider these actual albedo values for planet Earth:

    Ground coverAlbedo
    deep water.05 - .20
    desert.20 - .35
    short greenery.10 - .20
    dry vegetation.20 - .30
    summer conifers.10 - .15
    deciduous forest.15 - .25
    snowy forest.20 - .35
    dry snow.60 - .90
    clouds? - .90

    1. Would receding ice caps tend to exacerbate or compensate for global warming? Increased cloud cover? Deforestation? Desertification?

    2. The range of albedos above is 0.05 to 0.90. With DaisyBall logic, use the Advanced menu to set your albedo range to match Earth's. You may need to adjust Luminosity end.

Further Information

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