Well before mid century we will probably pass a threshold beyond which we’ll really regret having not curtailed the release of fossil Carbon into the atmosphere in the form of Carbon Dioxide. The best case scenario for “business as usual” release of the greenhouse gas is that some of the carbon, or some of the heat (from sunlight) gets taken out of the main arena (the atmosphere and sea surface) and buried or reflected somewhere for a while, and this all happens on a slightly delayed time scale.
The reason we know this is a little thing called science. And, more exactly, physics. And physics is math embedded in reality (or reality draped on math if you like), so there’s also math. And here is the formula:
For instructions as to how to use this formula to understand the statements in the first paragraph of this post, including the data you need to do the calculations, visit this new item on Scientific American’s web site, Why Global Warming Will Cross a Dangerous Threshold in 2036, by climate scientist Michael Mann. He’s also got an article in the print edition of Scientific American, which I’ve not seen because I let my subscription lapse.