Systems and Models. Objective 1.1. The Gaia Hypothesis. In the 1960’s, James Lovelock first suggested the Gaia hypothesis. He proposed that the Earth can be regarded as a single functioning ecosystem. In the 1970’s, Lynn Margulis further develop the hypothesis.
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a. What are the benefits and drawbacks of using the systems approach in other fields like economics and engineering?
b. Do you think that it is useful to have the concept of an isolated system which does not exchange energy or matter with its surroundings?
What is their relevance to environmental systems?
Energy leaves the system as heat energy because heat cannot be transformed in a living process.
A stable form of equilibrium which allows a system to return to its steady state after a disturbance.
Type of equilibrium in which there are no changes over time because there are no inputs or outputs to the systems.
In a stable equilibrium, the system tends
to return to the same stable state after
In an unstable equilibrium, a new
equilibrium is formed after a disturbance.
Natural systems are able to regulate themselves through feedback systems. Information, which may come from inside or outside the system, starts a reaction which affects the processes within the system. Changes in these processes lead to changes in output, which also affect levels of input. This whole cycle is known as a feedback loop.
The more things change, the more they stay the same