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Thirteen U.S. scientists joined a Soviet research cruise this month to study atmospheric chemistry and the influence of the oceans on climate change. The cruise is a result of a bilateral agreement signed by the United States and the Soviet Union in November 1986, which recognized the international significance of the increasing concentrations of man-made gases in the atmosphere, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

On their cruise of the western Pacific and Indian Oceans, the scientists hope to evaluate the sources, distributions, and fates of a variety of trace gases and aerosols that are linked to climate change, according to Richard Gammon of NOAA, chief U.S. scientist of the cruise. Air and water samples will be taken from a wide range of marine environments, extending from the western Bering Sea to subtropical waters east of Japan.