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The Air That's Up There

Atmospheric scientists focus on nature's role

By
1:13pm, May 28, 2002

The atmosphere is a tough laboratory. On a bench top, chemists can devise and carry out controlled experiments. But chemistry isn't so straightforward outdoors. Natural and humanmade chemicals from countless sources enter the air and react–again and again. Atmospheric scientists are continuously working to untangle the complicated interactions. It's often still unclear precisely what chemicals are present in the atmosphere, how they got there, what they're doing, or where they're going.

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