How does rising atmospheric CO2 affect marine organisms?

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History of the Last Interglacial
Frogley, M.R., Tzedakis, P.C. and Heaton, T.H.E.  1999.  Climate variability in Northwest Greece during the last interglacial.  Science 285: 1886-1889.

What was done
Based on isotopic and palynological data from a lacustrine sequence derived from a 319-meter core obtained on the western flank of the Pindus Mountain Range, the authors reconstructed a climatic history of the region from 115,000 to 135,000 years ago.

What was learned
The data suggest that the climate variability of the last interglacial was similar to that of the current (Holocene) interglacial "both in terms of amplitude and, possibly, of pacing."  In addition, the authors note that the onset of instability that led to the development of the last great glacial period occurred about 10,800 years after the beginning of the full interglacial, which is essentially identical to the length of the Holocene thus far.

What it means
Any day now, geologically speaking, we are due for the next great ice age to begin, based on pervious glacial/interglacial periodicities, such as that observed in this study; and since this pattern has repeated itself for so many cycles, it is not unreasonable to believe that it will continue to do so, irrespective of what man may do, knowingly or unknowingly, to thwart it.  Yet we worry, almost exclusively, and clearly obsessively, about global warming.  Is this healthy?  Is it wise?  Is it even rational?

Reviewed 15 December 1999