WASHINGTON, Aug. 5 (UPI) -- Republican lawmakers contend this year's harsh weather that has produced drought and wildfires does not prove the existence of global warming.
An analysis by WeatherBank and AccuWeather shows the summer of 2012 will likely be one of the three hottest since 1950 and has yielded the most widespread drought in 50 years, The Hill reported Sunday.
Many Republicans, however, say the climate is cyclical and its current state does not prove a trend.
"I think the science suggests you have to have long-term trends, not one-year droughts," said Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., adding that his district saw worse conditions in the 1950s and 1980s and "variability in the drought is not unusual."
Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., agreed.
"We've got oppressive heat and we've broken some records, but there's a lot of records standing that have been there for a long duration. These things cycle and we've been unseasonably wet and we're cycling into a hot, dry period."
In a floor speech Monday, Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., said, "Look at the patterns. It gets cold, it gets warmer, it gets colder, gets warmer. God is still up there, and I think it'll continue in the future."
To the contrary, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., called Inhofe's stance on climate change "dead and dangerously wrong."
Rep. Judy Biggert, R-Ill., said there are likely more Republicans who believe in climate change than their public statements suggest.
"I think [GOP members] are really saying we need to see what's happening and if there's something we need to do, or whether we just need to say that this is a change in the weather and it's going to shift back. So I think more [Republicans] are concerned about it," she said.