Sea and air currents mean the Arctic and Antarctic are the fall out region for long-range transport pollutants. A very visible example of this is "Arctic haze". This visible reddish-brown haze occurs in the atmosphere at high latitudes. The term was coined in the 1950s and experts have concluded that this concentration of air pollution is caused by sources thousands of miles away, most likely coal-burning in northern countries.
The main environmental concern for Antarctica has been the depleting ozone layer. This layer is incredibly important for all life on earth as it absorbs biologically harmful ultraviolet radiation emitted from the sun. In 1985 three British scientists working at Halley Station on the Brunt Ice Shelf discovered the existence of a hole in the ozone layer.
In 1998 NASA satellite data showed this Antarctic ozone hole covers 27 million square kilometres. The hole is caused by chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) emitted by humans. The resulting ban on CFCs in the Montreal Protocol of 1989 led scientists to predict the ozone hole will close up over the next fifty years.
Scientists and ecologists believe pollutants and hazardous chemicals used over the centuries have damaged the planet to the extent that we are unnaturally changing its evolution. The Arctic is being watched very closely; being a highly sensitive region, scientists believe what happens there now could foretell what will happen to the planet as a whole.