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November-December 2015

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Weather Front

Life in the Oceans Brighten Clouds in the Sky

They form the base of the marine food web, and they brighten the tops of clouds all at the same time. They're the tiny, chlorophyll-producing, primitive organisms in the surface waters of the ocean known as phytoplankton. New research shows that bits of organic material and gases emitted by phytoplankton constitute 60% of the cloud condensation nuclei in the Southern Ocean.

KIMBRA CUTLIP is a freelance writer and former assistant editor for Weatherwise.            

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