Some parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change last week in Doha agreed to extend the Kyoto Protocol and move ahead with plans for a new climate treaty after 2020.
Alden Meyer, a director of policy for the Union of Concerned Scientists, said ministers left the conference, however, with no clear path going forward.
"For all of the nations wrestling with the new reality of climate change, which includes the United States, this meeting failed to deliver the goods," he said in a statement.
Several reports released ahead of the climate talks suggested weather may grow more extreme even if world governments met existing emissions goals. Meyer said major economies, however, spent more time debating what they couldn't do in terms of environmental support.
"Instead of moving aggressively to increase the ambition of actions to reduce emissions and ramp up climate finance for developing country actions, all too many countries dithered and delayed in Doha," he said.
The Union of Concerned Scientists said Hurricane Sandy, a late October storm that pummeled the U.S. East Coast, developed over waters in the Atlantic Ocean that were unseasonably warm.