The impacts of air pollution on human health, economies and agriculture differ drastically depending on where on the planet the pollutants are emitted, according to a new study that could potentially incentivize certain countries to cut climate-changing emissions.

Led by The University of Texas at Austin and the University of California San Diego, the study is the first to simulate how pollutants affect both climate and air quality for locations around the globe.

The research, which is published in Science Advances, analyzed the climate and air quality impacts of aerosols — tiny solid particles and liquid droplets that contribute to smog and are emitted from industrial factories, power plants and vehicle tailpipes. Aerosols create unique global patterns of impact on human health, agricultural and economic productivity when compared with carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, which are the focus of efforts to mitigate climate change.

Although CO2 and aerosols are often emitted at the same time during the combustion of fuel, the two substances behave differently in Earth’s atmosphere, said co-lead author Geeta Persad, an assistant professor in UT Austin’s Jackson School of Geosciences.

Read the full article about air pollution and climate change at Environmental News Network.