As a take-off on your topic, caption, Heather, natural disasters ARE on the rise, and I see two causes:
1) a more densely-populated earth
2) accelerating climate change
The contribution of the former is obvious, but some may not have considered the latter. All this talk about "global warming" is kind of a popular misnomer; what's actually happening is accelerated climate change. Climate is changing all the time, of course, but the changes occur over such a long period of time that they shouldn't be noticeable during the course of any one individual's lifetime. But now it's becoming clear that it's changing faster, and whether it's mankind-induced or not (which is not entirely clear), what isn't usually considered is than with weather, change is accompanied by volatility. Volatility means fluctuations, and fluctuations are what cause "weather" and more volatile weather means .... more tornados, hurricanes, cyclones, floods, droughts .... more extremes .... not just warmer weather.
There was a storm-chaser on one of the morning shows this morning who said that he's definitely seen an increase both in the number and the magnitude of tornado-producing weather. Now, I think that could be called an "expert opinion."
You might even have some basis on blaming the Chinese earthquake on climate change. The earth's magnetic pole is shifting. Now, that's something that also shifts over a long period of time, but lately it's been shifting faster. In the earth's history there have even been occasions when it flipped north to south. Here's the relevant part: the molten material the tectonic plates ride on and down into the earth's core have a high concentration of iron. A shifting magnetic field is going to affect that, with the result of .... earthquakes!!