Several recent weather events, including wildfires in Russia, floods in Pakistan and an ice sheet breaking off Greenland, have renewed a sense of urgency among environmental groups and progressive lawmakers such as House Global Warming Chairman Edward Markey that climate change is occurring -- and at a faster rate than previously assumed. They argue that the connection between climate change and a pattern of extreme weather is stronger than ever, but some scientists and skeptics of climate change say that connection cannot be made -- at least not with the data currently available.
Are extreme weather events, when considered collectively, evidence that climate change is occurring? If not, what are the missing links scientists still need to study in order to make a more conclusive find? Could these weather events revive congressional efforts to pass comprehensive climate legislation?