If you get close to the ocean, you can smell it. That salty odor is distinct, and carried by sea spray spritzing into the air. But there’s more than salt in the sea spray. There’s phytoplankton, bacteria and viruses — living things that help make up the entire ocean and change the chemistry of the water. Ocean mists do more than dampen beaches, says atmospheric chemist Kimberly Prather of Scripps Institution of Oceanography at San Diego. Ocean aerosols also seed clouds, and they could affect climate change and our weather, she said.“The single largest uncertainty in climate change is how to aerosols affect clouds and climate,” Prather said.