At some point, given the very long time that CO2 stays in the atmosphere, we will reach a negative tipping point of no return (WHAT MIGHT THAT MEAN?) if we continue our current ways of living on this planet.
I am interested, however, in actively finding ways right now to explore every possible good avenue to help move us toward a more positive future for us human and most other animals and plants. (There are, of course, a few plants and animals that will thrive in the conditions toward which we are moving.) I would like to see the extinctions start slowing down; the CO2 in the atmosphere level off and then (ever so slowly, given its long duration) start decreasing; the floods and hurricanes start decreasing in frequency and intensity (MORE IDEAS?)
One of the things we need to keep reminding ourselves is that any timeline predictions necessarily have large uncertainty ranges because this issue is so sprawlingly large and full of multiple uncertainties. However, here’s my thought when I ponder this from a medical perspective. If a person (or planet) has some likelihood of a number of very terrible things happening if they don’t take a number of preventive measures, I am more likely to strongly encourage the preventive measure the more dire the potential problems are. I think this is exactly the case with us and Climate Change. Do we primarily just care about our short-term high-fossil fuel current lives? Or can we join together to do what needs to be done to become a very low fossil using planet?
That said, here are some of the years I have seen suggested by which Climate Change might become irreversible:
2017 (ref; get; Naomi klein book)
2020 (again, Klein)
All of the links below give some information about the 2014 IPCC reports and perspectives on timelines except for the first one. Keep in mind that the cut-off for information in the IPCC report was 2013, as you read any of these links that interest you. Then look at the first link to an article from the World Resources Institute, which looks at the specifics and escalating pace of events in 2014.
Let us continue waking up and do all we can on any pertinent levels to decrease our carbon (fossil fuels) output. It will never get any easier or more cost-effective or likely to work in the future.