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Environmental research got a boost last month from an unlikely source: the Central Intelligence Agency. In an unprecedented move mandated by President Clinton, the U.S. government released more than 800,000 spy satellite photographs taken between 1960 and 1972 during the Cold War. The photos, taken by the six-generation Keyhole satellites, may give scientists new insight into various fields from global change to weather forecasting. “Selectively declassifying information we already have gathered during this period is a common-sense way to address new threats to global and regional security, including depletion of food and water supplies and the ozone layer, large-scale destruction of forests, and global warming linked to pollution,” Vice President Al Gore said on releasing the reconnaissance satellite data.