The Gaia hypothesis and chaos in Daisyworld

Flynn, Cathal Michael. “The Gaia hypothesis and chaos in Daisyworld.” PhD diss., Colorado State University, 1993.

In order to correctly model the climate it is necessary to include the effects of the biosphere. Could the inclusion of the biosphere lead to a regulation of the climate? The Gaia hypothesis claims that the earth’s living m atter, air, oceans, and land surface form a complex system which can be seen as a single organism which has the capacity to regulate the earth’s climate in order to ensure the survival of life on the planet. The historical development of the Gaia hypothesis is discussed with emphasis on the work of J.E. Lovelock. A model developed by Lovelock and A.J. Watson to demonstrate the Gaia hypothesis is explained in detail and the results of their work are reviewed. This model is of a fictional planet, called Daisyworld, which is inhabited by daisies of different colors. The daisy populations and the planet’s climate interact with each other and are considered to constitute a single system. Only steady state behavior is observed in the Daisyworld model of Watson and Lovelock.

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