This story is a little disturbing, though, in the scheme of things, I suppose it’s pretty far down the list of things in the world to be worried about.

Nearly four in 10 U.S. residents say the severity of recent natural disasters such as Superstorm Sandy is evidence the world is coming to an end, as predicted by the Bible, while more than six in 10 blame it on climate change, according to a poll released on Thursday.

End TimesThe survey by the Public Religion Research Institute in partnership with the Religion News Service found political and religious disagreement on what is behind severe weather, which this year has included extreme heat and drought.

Most Catholics (60 percent) and white non-evangelical Protestants (65 percent) say they believe disasters like hurricanes and floods are the result of climate change.

But nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of white evangelical Protestants say they think the storms are evidence of the “end times” as predicted by the Bible.

Politics also color perceptions of the weather, the survey found. More than three-quarters of Democrats and six in 10 independents believe that the weather has become more extreme over the last few years, while less than half of Republicans say they have perceived such a shift.

“Their political leanings are even affecting how they experience weather, which is pretty fascinating,” said Cox.

There was some comfort to be found in the scant 2 percent of respondents who believed the world would end this year, as predicted by ancient Mayans.