The year 2005, the World Wildlife Fund said, is shaping up as the worst for extreme weather, with the hottest temperatures, most Arctic melting, worst Atlantic hurricane season and warmest Caribbean waters.
It's also been the driest year in decades in the Amazon, where a drought may surpass anything in the past century, said the report by international environmental group.
The report, using data from the U.S. government World Meteorological Organization, was released on the sidelines of the U.N. conference reviewing and upgrading the Kyoto Protocol, an international treaty that commits 35 industrialized nations to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions more than 5 percent by 2012. The United States has not signed on to the protocol.
Kyoto blames carbon dioxide and five other heat-trapping gases for rising global temperatures and disrupted weather patterns. Many scientists believe if temperatures keep rising, extreme weather will continue to kill humans, disrupt lifestyles and make some animal species extinct.