‘Global Warming: CO2, Sunspots, Or Politics?’ By Phil N. Baldwin, Jr.

Critique,Energy,Environmentalism & Animal Rights,Pseudoscience,Science



(Exclusive to Barely a Blog)

Global warming is one kind of weather topic. The current topic of man-made global warming is quite another. The idea of man-made global warming is a very politically charged issue, yet it is simply incorrect! The fact that the average global temperature has risen and fallen over time, near and far, is history. For example, most of us have forgotten the media and scientific claims and predictions of the mid to late 1970s that the world was on the brink of a new mini ice age, like the one in the mid 1600s to early 1700s.

Today, the media, the United Nations, and some US and European politicians are consumed by the concept, not of global cooling, 25 -30 years after the global cooling scare, but of man-made global warming.

There is data showing that the earth has warmed over the recent 50 years, though there is data that calls into question how much warming has happened and where it appears in the world. My e-book contains data that indicate both points. But, if you believe the warming is real, which is most probably true, then why is it warming? This is the million dollar political and scientific question. If it could be proven warming was due to man, this could lead to anti-economic growth policies in the US and Europe – not a good thing for most citizens of the developed and undeveloped world. On the other hand, if there was sound data to show that man has nothing to do with creating global cooling (1960-70s) or global warming (1990s-2000s), more monies could be spent on real environmental problems such as air pollution and bad or lack of water.

We are told global warming is absolutely true and due to the specific man-generated, ‘greenhouse gas’ carbon dioxide (CO2). This gas is generated from the combustion of carbon sources such as wood, natural gas, propane, coal, oil and motor fuels. About 0.015% of the earth’s atmospheric volume is CO2 down from a historical high of 0.30%. The greenhouse gas you don’t hear about is water vapor/gas. It represents on average about 1% of the earth’s atmospheric volume or 67 times more volume than CO2. A variation in the water vapor in the atmosphere of +1.5% of the 1% total (0.015%) [not unusual] would equal the total volume of the earth’s CO2. What is responsible for the water vapor in the atmosphere and the variations? The Sun is responsible, not man.

If global warming was due to an increase in CO2 over the past 80 years, then there should be a strong mathematical correlation between the change in CO2 and the change in global temperature. There is a math term called the coefficient of determination (R2) that is used to measure and explain the change in one variable (CO2) as related to impacts in a second variable (temperature). A value of 1.0 indicates a perfect explanation in the change in one variable as related or caused by the other. Usually in statistical math, high R2 values of 0.90 or greater are desired to have high confidence in a cause and impact relationship. That said, between 1925 and the current period, the R2 for CO2′s impact on global temperature is ~0.21 or in effect no impact of significance. Then, what has a high correlation with global temperature change?

The Sun is the source of nearly all the natural energy on earth with the earth’s core nuclear reactions and resultant heat being a minor source. Sun activity, sun flares and sun spots were initially monitored and measured in the 17th century with the use of Galileo’s 1609 invention of the telescope. By the middle of the 18th century, the methodology for measuring and recording flare and sun spot activity had been formalized by members of the Royal Danish Observatory. The first Solar Cycle was measured during the period 3/1755 to 6/1766. A Solar Cycle is when energetic sunspot activity is measured at or near zero observed sun spots; activity slowly rises to a peak level and retreats once again to zero. There have been 23 observed solar cycles to date. The Solar Cycle length is typically described as 11 years in duration. Actually, they have ranged from 9.7 to 12.2 years. The last cycle, #23, peaked in the Summer 2000; the next peak is expected about the Summer of 2011.

I have analyzed the sun spot data and devised a useful mathematical formula I call the Solar Cycle Power Index (SCPI). This is simply calculated as averaging the three highest monthly sun spot peaks and taking 80% of this value. Now, add up all monthly sun spot numbers in the cycle that equal or exceed that 80% of highest peaks number – this
value is the SCPI.

When the changes in the SCPI values are plotted against mean global annual changes, the SCPI tracks very well with the global temperature changes. Further, the extraordinary warm period at the end of the 20th century and into the early 21st. century is best highlighted in terms of the SCPI. During Solar Cycles 1 through 11, the average SCPI was 1,502. For Cycles 12-23 the average SCPI value is 2,845, and when you look at just the recent cycles 20-23, the SCPI mean value jumps to 5,606 or 273% greater than cycles 1-11 and 97% greater than the mean SCPI for cycles 12-23.

It is clear that man is not generating any global warming. Although man may continue to pollute the air and water, this does not indicate man is behind global warming. The only rational, databased, scientific-mathematically based conclusion to be drawn from the work covered in the e-book, Global Warming: CO2, SunSpots, or Politics?, is that global warming and cooling are caused by the Sun and can be tracked through the use of the Solar Cycle Power Index.

N. Baldwin, Jr. attended the US Air Force Academy and graduated with a BS degree in Chemistry – Mathematics from the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN. Postgraduate work was done at the Universities of Akron and Northern Illinois. In addition to the weather data analysis e-book Global Warming: CO2, SunSpots, or Politics? , Phil has published two books on Applied Statistics. He has performed test designs and data analysis for the US Department of Energy, nuclear power plants, and on many industrial projects. He founded the first hazardous waste treatment, reprocessing, and storage facility in Tennessee. He works with his wife Bettye for The LrnIT Corporation in Colorado Springs, CO, a family owned consultancy.

8 thoughts on “‘Global Warming: CO2, Sunspots, Or Politics?’ By Phil N. Baldwin, Jr.

  1. concha

    This is what we need to hear–a real expert, with real data, and not a politician.
    There is a push to put rail lines in each city to get us out of our cars, permanently, to reduce carbon emissions. This is all a front to get the taxpayers to foot the bill for those rail lines that will eventually be sold to private corporations.
    The whole carbon-induced global warming scam is just a way to limit our mobility, and benefit big business. I know it sounds “tin-foily” to quote Jeanne, but I have seen the paperwork.
    It is part of the UN’s Agenda 21 plan, which is a very real thing–Google it sometime.
    Thank you Mr. Baldwin for your candor and expertise.

  2. Jim Butler

    Ilana, I commend you for posting this technical yet easily understood explanation of global warming from Phil Baldwin. I remember from my time in Probability and Statistics classes at the Naval Academy that a good math professor in this area can make many things actually make sense! Not long ago I read an article concerning global warming that reported scientists who had observed other planets in our solar system whose polar icecaps were also reducing in size…. hmmm… Maybe Al Gore will report some interplanetary “worm hole” from earth to other planets and blame our “man generated” CO2 for causing warming there too? It’s sad that global warming enthusiasts seem unable to see the simple correlation between sun cycles and earth’s temperatures the way Baldwin’s article so nicely explains it.

  3. Dan Maguire


    Thanks for posting this great article by Mr. Baldwin.

    I am going to pick a couple of nits before I offer my praise.

    Mr. Baldwin is correct when he states that higher values of the coefficient of determination (R-Squared) tend to show a stronger relation between a predicted variable and its explanatory variable. In this case, the predicted variable is recorded temperature and the explanatory variable is the CO2 level.

    First nit picked: a high R-Squared says nothing about causation – it says only that there is a high degree of correlation observed between the two variables. Lots of folks get this wrong. To be deliberately ridiculous, we may observe a R-Squared of 1.0 between, say, the winner of a horse race and the “coolness” of the winning horse’s name as voted by the audience, yet clearly there is no causation there. There may in fact be causation in other less ridiculous scenarios, but the R-Squared never proves it. Yes, I’m a nit-picking actuary geek.

    Second, there are instances when a R-Squared of 0.21 actually accompanies a good model. Yes, 0.21 is low as far as R-Squareds go, but a more useful (in my opinion) diagnostic is to look at the “P-Value” of the explanatory variable. The lower the P-Value, the better. The P-Value says: what is the chance of observing the result I observed if in fact there is no underlying relationship? Thus, the P-Value of the CO2 explanatory variable may have been, say, 0.35, which would mean: there is a 35% chance of observing what I observed even if there is no true underlying relationship between CO2 and temperature. Statisticians generally like to see P-Values under 0.10, and under 0.05 are even better. My belabored point: it is possible for a model to have an R-Squared of 0.21, but a P-Value under 0.05.

    OK, no more nit-picks. His idea to use the SCPI measure is brilliant, and this idea deserves greater exploration and, assuming it delivers good statistical correlation, as I gather it does, then this idea deserves the same level of attention as the blowhard Gore.

    Well done!

  4. Pil Koler

    Though I admire Baldwin’s perfunctory analysis of global warming conditions inside and outside of the Earth’s atmosphere, I must admit that I am not thoroughly satisfied by the analysis as it seems to totally neglect the matter of the ozone layer, the hole that we have been burning in it, and how that relates to global warming, let alone increased incidence of UV radiation. Furthermore, there is a lack of psycho-historical analysis as to why there are so many experts in the field who allege the existence of global warming, be it caused by carbon dioxide or ozone depletion.

    Yours Truly,

  5. John Danforth


    The ozone layer issue has never been posited to have any major effect on global temperature, as far as I can tell. UV radiation does not transmit very much heat, it’s the wrong wavelength. Even though its energy eventually gets transformed to heat, it has not been accused of being a major contributor. Interestingly, the ‘hole’ was discovered right after we gained a means of measuring it for the first time. In all the excitement, I have not been able to find any evidence for there not being holes in the past. In other words, the assertion is made that the hole is man-made, and nobody asks whether it could be a natural phenomenon that was periodically there before we could detect it.

    The ‘psycho-historical analysis’ is right there in the media for anyone to analyze for themselves. I remember reading of “ozone holes over Kennebunkport, Maine” while Bush Sr. was president. The advocacy of an issue by researchers using the press to pressure politicians for public funding soon becomes transformed into government money being used to fund only research that promises evidence to support the advocated issue. Soon, the new orthodoxy purchases an avalanche of data in support of the hypothesis, scare stories get ratcheted up, evidence to the contrary is suppressed, and the few men of integrity who stand for the truth are subject to ridicule and attack. Consensus and public opinion completely and overwhelm reasoned arguments contrary to the orthodoxy. This ‘psycho-historical’ phenomenon is as old as history. Environmentalism is simply the new state religion. Will it be successful in creating a new dark age?

    –John Danforth–

  6. Greg West

    The ozone layer is also very much part of the solar activity effect. The kool-aid drinkers tend to just want to blame mankind which is a symptom of a self-loathing psychopath.

  7. Phil Baldwin

    Dan McGuire:

    You are right on target with your comments. The concept of P and R2Â is a bit much for most to handle. R2 seemed more intuitive, alone, though flawed. I write about nonsense correlationships in my applied stats book, so I understand what you are saying.

    The whole arguement about correlationship of CO2 to Temp change is also flawed and I should leave it alone. Since water in the atmosphere overwhelms the idea of CO2, such information about CO2 and temperature change is nonsense to start with as an analysis basis. Thanks for your positive comments.

  8. Phil Baldwin

    Dear Pil,

    Ozone depletion has been tied to flurocarbons, mainly, and laws are in place to restrict their use. Global warming is not impacted by ozone depletion any more than by methane or CO2 for that matter. The key is the impacts of water vapour, precipitations, and their link to the sun’s energy. Weather people cannot predict the weather’s precipitation one week out, because of the severe complications of precipitations, rain, snow, on weather systems often miles from YOUR current weather. However, political weather folks want YOU to believe they can tell you what will happen DECADES ahead. How naïve.

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