Salvaging the Daisyworld parable under the dynamic area fraction framework

Nordstrom, K. M., V. K. Gupta, and T. N. Chase. “Salvaging the Daisyworld parable under the dynamic area fraction framework.” Scientists Debate Gaia: The Next Century (2004): 241-253.


This chapter constructs a new version of the Daisyworld model based on local heat balances, using the simple heat transport parameterization of Budyko. This Dynamic Area Fraction model (DAFM) formulation removes the assumption of perfect local homeostasis through the albedo-dependent local heat transfer equation. From this DAFM formulation the Daisyworld heat transport parameter is interpreted physically, thus removing the artificiality in its parameter set. This representation results in globally similar temperature regulation, despite the removal of the assumption of perfect local homeostasis. These results are surprising, and lend weight to the Daisyworld parable. The regulation of local temperatures, or “homeostasis,” is proscribed by the biota independently of solar forcing. In addition, the strength of the model’s homeostatic behavior, its main result, is forced to depend on an arbitrary parameter associated with the heat transport.

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