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'Phytoplankton may be small, but that doesn't mean they can't do big things -- like change the weather to suit their needs.
A recent study funded by NASA's Earth Science Department shows that the tiny sea plants release high quantities of cloud-forming compounds on days when the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays are especially strong. The compounds evaporate into the air through a series of chemical processes that result in especially reflective clouds. This, in turn, blocks the radiation from bothering the phytoplankton.
The findings not only confirm earlier theories that plankton are linked to the creation of clouds above the ocean but could also lead to a better understanding of how living things affect the Earth's climate.' (Wired article)