Strange issue with Earth render

So, I’m putting together an animation for a project, and I’ve been working with this model of the earth I made (Yes, from a tut, and yes, with NASA blue marble textures)…

Strange thing is, when I render it, I get these weird black pixels over the top and bottom of the mesh. I think it must be the cloud layer, but I don’t know. I’ve tried several things to smooth it out, but to no avail.

Attached is a pic. Any suggestions?

Not that it matters, but it turned out to be an issue with the transparency of the cloud layer interacting with the cloud shadow layer. I offset the z-transp a bit and that took care of the issue. Given that there was no way anyone could know that there were two cloud layers, I understand the lack of suggestions. But maybe this will help someone else.