I enjoy working with our team to develop on-line interactive education activities. We are in the final testing of whose goal is to teach about the balance of global water, land coverage, atmosphere and cloudiness required to create a "liveable planet". If you want to play with it and give us feedback - here is the link:
The goal is to make a habitable planet by adding enough water, atmosphere and clouds to reach a global average temperature of about 15°C (59°F). You can mix and match, add or remove.

* Drag (and drop) an item from the right side to the left to add that element
* Drag (and drop) from the left are back to the right to remove that element
* HINT You must put at least 3 clouds by the planet!!

There is a timer to see how fast you can make the planet livable.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Joel Bonasera's picture

This is cool. My first thoughts went immediately to Daisyworld for some reason.

posted on Thu, 05/27/2010 - 6:07am
bryan kennedy's picture

Oh that's an interesting model too. I'd never heard of Daisyworld before. It seems quite relevant given how much people are thinking about how the albedo affect is adjusting our climate as global ground cover changes.

posted on Thu, 05/27/2010 - 11:12am
Joel Bonasera's picture

Yeah I first heard about it in Orson Scott Card's Xenocide (one of the sequels to Ender's Game). The planet in that book has a much, much, very much more complicated ecosystem.

posted on Thu, 05/27/2010 - 11:36am
Steve Ackerman's picture

A few years ago we did a Daisyworld applet - it has basic graphics, and no pretty imagery though...

posted on Thu, 05/27/2010 - 2:37pm
KelsiDayle's picture
KelsiDayle says:

Sweet! The applet works very well. I'm interested to see to what end this applet is used (i.e. what lab questions will students be trying to understand/answer). Have you considered adding units to the cloud, atmosphere, and water elements? I know I would have gotten more from the experience with that additional information.

posted on Thu, 05/27/2010 - 8:50am
Steve Ackerman's picture

Yes, we are likely going to somehow print out cloud fraction (maybe water fraction too). We are open to suggestions on how to make it better. We did modify it this morning to make it more obvious when you created a 'livable planet'

posted on Thu, 05/27/2010 - 2:35pm

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