Maximum entropy production in daisyworld

Maunu, Haley A., and Kevin H. Knuth. “Maximum entropy production in daisyworld.” In AIP Conference Proceedings 31st , vol. 1443, no. 1, pp. 290-297. American Institute of Physics, 2012.


Daisyworld was first introduced in 1983 by Watson and Lovelock as a model that illustrates how life can influence a planet’s climate. These models typically involve modeling a planetary surface on which black and white daisies can grow thus influencing the local surface albedo and therefore also the temperature distribution. Since then, variations of daisyworld have been applied to study problems ranging from ecological systems to global climate. Much of the interest in daisyworld models is due to the fact that they enable one to study self-regulating systems. These models are nonlinear, and as such they exhibit sensitive dependence on initial conditions, and depending on the specifics of the model they can also exhibit feedback loops, oscillations, and chaotic behavior. Many daisyworld models are thermodynamic in nature in that they rely on heat flux and temperature gradients. However, what is not well-known is whether, or even why, a daisyworld model might settle into a maximum entropy production (MEP) state. With the aim to better understand these systems, this paper will discuss what is known about the role of MEP in daisyworld models.

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