Skip to content

The Guardian’s Dana Nuccitelli uses pseudo-science to libel Dr. John Christy

February 20, 2016

By Paul Homewood    




You may recall that Dana Nutticcelli ran a piece in the subsidised, left wing Guardian the other day, which attempted to debunk John Christy’s testimony to Congress. The deluded drones who read the Grauniad naturally sucked it all up.


I did not respond at the time because I knew that Lord Monckton would make a much better job of it than I ever would.

Here is his response in WUWT:


One Dana Nuccitelli, a co-author of the 2013 paper that found 0.5% consensus to the effect that recent global warming was mostly manmade and reported it as 97.1%, leading Queensland police to inform a Brisbane citizen who had complained to them that a “deception” had been perpetrated, has published an article in the British newspaper The Guardian making numerous inaccurate assertions calculated to libel Dr John Christy of the University of Alabama in connection with his now-famous chart showing the ever-growing discrepancy between models’ wild predictions and the slow, harmless, unexciting rise in global temperature since 1979.

The chart, described by Nuccitelli as “simply another example of cherry picked data … presented in a multiply misleading way”, shows his comments. Each comment is then given in more detail in bold face, followed by the truth in Roman face.



1. “The data are misleadingly misaligned” to start in 1979, so as “to visually exaggerate any difference between the models and data”. Instead, Mr Nuccitelli opines that they should have been aligned to a common baseline some decades in length.

Altering the baselines does not alter the trends. Nevertheless, to test Mr Nucccitelli’s allegation that Dr Christy had “misleadingly misaligned” the data, trends on the models’ predictions (red), satellites’ observations (green) and radiosondes’ measurements (blue) were expressed as centennial-equivalent warming rates of 2.22, 1.00 and 0.86 Celsius degrees respectively. The warming rate predicted by the models is thus some 2.22.5 times the warming rates observed by the satellites and radiosondes. The graph, therefore, correctly reflects a real and widening discrepancy between prediction and observation. Note also that the CMIP5 predictions were made in about 2010, so that nearly all the red curve represents hindcasts: yet still the models’ trend is excessive.


2. “No uncertainty ranges are shown whatsoever”. When they are taken into account, “the observations are consistent with the range of model projections”.

Data since 1979 for the CMIP5 models were not to hand. However, in 1990 IPCC (AR1, p. xxiv), on the basis of “substantial confidence” that the models on which it relied had captured all essential features of the climate, predicted near-linear warming of 1.0 [0.7, 1.5] Celsius degrees over the 36 years 1990-2025, equivalent to 2.78 [1.94, 4.17] Cº/century. The boundary between the two zones, marked with the red needle in the clock-graph below, is the IPCC’s then best prediction: warming equivalent to about 2.8 C°/century by now.

The very wide range of predictions made by the IPCC is shown as orange and red regions. The observed warming on the RSS and UAH satellite datasets, again expressed as centennial equivalents, is shown by the two green needles. The HadCRUT4 dataset, to Dr Jones’ credit, publishes its combined measurement, coverage and bias uncertainties, which are about 0.16 Celsius degrees either side of the central estimate. The satellite uncertainties are smaller. It is plain that there is no overlap whatsoever between the exaggerated predictions made by IPCC in 1990 and the rates of global warming since then shown by the satellites.



3. “Observational data disagreements are hidden,” because “Christy’s graph also averages together multiple different observational datasets, which aren’t in terribly close agreement.”

In the present context, disagreements between trends on the RSS and UAH satellite datasets, for instance, would only be material if either of the datasets showed a trend close to the trend on the models’ predictions: otherwise, such differences would be inconsequential when set against the far wider difference between the trend on each observational dataset and the trend on the models’ predictions.

To test whether the two satellite datasets “aren’t in terribly close agreement”, their spline-curves and trends from 1979-2015 were separately determined and plotted. Results showed that the two curves are visibly in reasonable agreement.

To verify this, copy each graph on to a PowerPoint slide, start the presentation and then use the up and down arrows in rapid succession to make a blink-comparator.

Their centennial-equivalent trends are within a tenth of a degree of one another, whereas the differences between each of the two observed trends and the model-predicted trend are each an order of magnitude greater than the difference between them.




4. “The chart isn’t peer-reviewed or easily reproducible”, in that “Christy doesn’t say which observational data sets he’s averaging together”.

Mr Nuccitelli did not email Dr Christy and simply ask for the information. On one occasion when I asked Dr Christy for some data to assist me in a paper I was writing, I received the requested data within 24 hours. My questions about the data were answered promptly, courteously, fully and helpfully. Furthermore, the chart is plainly labeled indicating that it was prepared using the online and publicly available Climate Explorer program and data maintained by the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute.

Had Mr Nuccitelli done a little homework, he would have been able to find the following widely-circulated graph that actually lists 73 of the models used by Dr Christy, and shows IPCC’s ever-increasing confidence in the “consensus” proposition that recent global warming was mostly manmade. In fact, as Mr Nuccitelli knows full well (for his own data file of 11,944 climate science papers shows it), the “consensus” is only 0.5%. But that is by the bye: the main point here is that it is the trends on the predictions compared with those on the observational data that matter, and, on all 73 models, the trends are higher than those on the real-world data.



Read the rest here.

  1. AndyG55 permalink
    February 20, 2016 9:26 pm

    1. Yes, Dana has deliberately misaligned the graphs, stretching the scale etc to try to hide the discrepancy….intentionally misleading for the gullible.(you)

    2. There is so much range in the climate models that they are a farce.. yet they STILL miss the side of the barn.

    3. Only the much adjusted Ratpac balloon series (in the hands of rabid alarmists) doesn’t agree with the satellites. The ONLY surface data in the world that is UNTAMPERED, un UHI affected, and evenly spread matches the satellite data trends almost exactly. This confirms the satellite data extraction algorithms. Its called “validation” something which NO climate model or mal-adjusted surface data set has managed.

    4. Peer review is for journal publication, nothing more.

    5. The AGW hypothesis says that the atmosphere should warm faster than the surface… FAIL !!

    6, Matching to their deliberately fabricated temperature data is meaningless, especially when the likes of Mann is in charge of the data and modelling.

    They are LYING about the sea level rise, they show an acceleration in the tide gauges.. there is NONE. and look at the massive range they predict.. that isn’t science, its pure supposition .. and they still have to bend the data to just sneak inside it. What a FARCE !!!

  2. Anthony Watts permalink
    February 20, 2016 11:13 pm

    Might want to fix the “here” link

  3. Scott Scarborough permalink
    February 21, 2016 12:03 am

    What I didn’t understand about the article is that they provided, as counter evidence, a plot from NASA’s Gavin Schmidt. This plot looked similar to the Christy plot they were criticizing! They both showed about a half degree dependency between climate model projections and measured data. Gavin’s plot showed the different data sets independently clearly demonstrating that they are quit similar and could be easily averaged as was done in the Christy plot. The Gavin plot was cited in the article as looking quite different than the Christy plot. That just isn’t so if you know how to read a plot. There were some small differences in the plots (one was yearly data and one was 5 year running mean) but nothing that contradicted that conclusions that Christy made in his congressional testimony. The article could only have its intended effect on people who do not know how to read a plot.

  4. February 21, 2016 9:52 am

    ‘The deluded drones who read the Grauniad naturally sucked it all up.’

    There are, or were, some sceptics who read the Guardian online but moderation is biased against them in the comments. This newspaper has abandoned restraint and credibility in favour of flat-out climate propaganda, regardless of realistic evidence.

    • CheshireRed permalink
      February 22, 2016 1:41 pm

      There used to be a healthy and lively debate amongst true believers and sceptics, many of whom argued well. Rather too well for the Guardian’s liking, hence their ruthless climate purges. Now it’s just a green echo-chamber devoid of worthwhile sceptical challenges. Their loss.

    • m0b1us permalink
      February 24, 2016 11:22 am

      If you even try to suggest that the science isn’t so settled then you are immediately
      shot down by invective from swivel-eyed loons. There is no debate at all to be had on
      the Guardian – it’s all self congratulatory back slapping and laughing at the ignornance
      of the deniers. i.e.

      This article laughably evaluates scientific competence by quantity of papers published –
      and refers to those who disagree with the 97% consensus as ‘less talented’.

      Woe betide you if you even suggest that consensus is in itself non-scientific.

  5. February 21, 2016 10:11 am

    Great post by Lord M, as usual. However, there’s no real science in Sig. Nuccitelli’s article; Dr Christy is very unlikely to take it seriously, if he sees it at all.

    The bigger problem is the Guardian itself. It has an influence a couple of orders of magnitude greater than its trivial circulation would suggest. It is widely read by (or at least it informs) so many of the key players in the liberal establishment which rules us – none more so than the BBC. Our state broadcaster has an unhealthily close relationship with said publication, both in terms of its grossly disproportionate advertising funding, and its open door policy to Guardian views and Guardian personnel. I’d like to see a bit more investigation of this aspect of the matter.

  6. February 21, 2016 1:59 pm

    I am tired of the models being considered of greater veracity than reality!!

  7. Alan Williams permalink
    September 24, 2016 8:13 pm

    The plain fact is that climate change is real and happening now. The vested interests that now control the GOP will if allowed rape and plunder the planet in the name of profit, meanwhile serving up prodigious amounts of disinformation that the gullible followers of GOP will in their perfect ignorance and prejudice regard as gospel.

    • September 24, 2016 9:06 pm

      I think your pseudo email address “noexpert” perfectly sums you up.

      Please spend some time actually studying the facts before you make an idiot of yourself in future.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: