Hobbservations Climate Change, Development, Data

Simulating Daisies with D3

Daisyworld is a simulation of a planet that is slowly getting hotter, and I thought it seemed like a fun way to experiment with D3.js. It is inhabited by two species of daisies: dark daisies and light daisies. Dark daisies absorb solar radiation, meaning they can grow in cool temperatures and help the planet get warmer. Light daises reflect solar radiation and help the planet cool off. Without any coordination, dark and light daisies can keep their planet at a habitable temperature, even with variable solar radiation.

Unfortunately, the daisies can still only inhabit their planet within a band of temperatures. The visualization below is a D3 adaptation of this model, which I built on the math from Portland State University.

Be patient, the planet is initially too cold for daisies to grow. When I get a chance maybe I’ll add a temperature tracker, but if you want to watch the numbers change in the meantime open a browser console (⌘ + Option + J in Chrome on a Mac, Ctrl + Shift + J on Linux/Windows).

The planet will eventually get too hot and they’ll all die.