British meteorologists say that 2007 is likely to be the hottest year on record worldwide.

Britain's Meteorological Office Thursday said that a combination of global warming and the climatic phenomenon known as El Nino will make the next 12 months exceptionally warm.

El Nino is an occasional warming of the Pacific Ocean which has an effect on weather worldwide. The last El Nino made 1998 the warmest year on record.

Meteorologists predict this year could be warmer than 1998.

Weather experts fear that the predicted weather conditions could spark such anomalies as droughts in tropical countries and deluges in areas with dry climates.

Many European ski resorts had to postpone their ski season this winter due to unseasonably warm weather. Much of the American Midwest and East Coast is also going through an unusually warm winter.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.