SUMMARY: Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology have uncovered a surprising link between air pollution levels over land, and the growth of phytoplankton in the ocean. These tiny, but hardworking, aquatic plants carry out half the Earth's photosynthesis, and are responsible for removing tremendous quantities of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Normal dust storms produce iron which the phytoplankton can't use, but when it's modified by sulfur dioxide pollution, the iron becomes soluble and can trigger phytoplankton growth.
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