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(Thank Shakun, Marcott, Annan, Hadcrut and the IPCC for doing the tricky part.) First, guesstimate temperatures over last 20,000 years with anything at hand: tree-rings, ice bubbles, coral, fossilized tea leaves, whatever. Then stop the proxies, tack on thermometer data that was recorded in a different way with different errors and a very different response to faster temperature changes.Finally, launch that line into the future with unvalidated, skillless multivariate models that predict a fingerprint which 28 million weather balloons can’t find. (But who needs an uncertainty range when you have faith?Then take the models that didn’t work for the last twenty years, and run with the errors to the next century… I took the 14,000 pixel cartoon and squeezed it to one shot that shows the curve that matters. ) The secret to a good hockey-stick graph is to never use the same type of data from start to end.
For those of unfamiliar with the math and art of xkcd, take your time scrolling down to the bottom of the page and be sure to mouse-over the image to see an explanation of what each highway lane represents.
Health 2.0 features many stories about the broad influence of data on healthcare.