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Homework Help: What does it mean for a system to be 'Self-regulated'?

  1. Jan 18, 2017 #1


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    Gold Member

    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Hi guys, I am working on a 'daisy world' lab for an environmental systems class.
    I will share the lab link as it is free: http://www.gingerbooth.com/flash/daisyball/DaisyBall.html

    Essentially, we focus on a very simplified world where the world is either barren soil or white daisies. The luminosity (solar radiation) is increased and white daisies start to populate the planet. This causes a major change in albedo, so we get less warming (negative feedback). Eventually the white daisies die due to too much heat and we level off.

    One of my questions ask: Explain the details of the temperature curve of the world with daises, relative a barren world without. Is this system self-regulated?....

    My question is, what does self-regulated mean here?

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I am initially predispositioned to answer "YES" as the system has the few variables, when the runaway heat occurs, the daisies die and the system continues on, self regulating itself. The concern I have is, is the solar lumionsity part of the system? Do we consider the "sun" part of the system of the Earth? If so, then yes, this is all self-regulating.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 19, 2017 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    I am not sure I understand the way you try to split the system. For me it consist of a constant environment (of which insolation is a part) and variable surface of the land covered by daisies.
  4. Jan 19, 2017 #3


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    I got the answer today in lab, simply put, @Borek you had the right idea towards helping me -- its about locality and not observing the entire system. I had to narrow my zone to understand it.
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