The new century has already seen a number of volatile weather events of the type scientists predict would accompany global warming. Tornado-like winds and torrential rain hit parts of Southern California this week. Devastating floods caused a major humanitarian disaster in Mozambique in February and March. Forest fires are starting up earlier than usual in Canada. The Federal Emergency Management Administration said on Tuesday that extreme weather events are becoming more common; nearly twice as many major weather disasters were declared in the 1990s than in the 1980s. “We’ve gone back and looked at events 10 years ago in comparison to today and the events today are more intense, much more devastating, and they’re much more frequent,” said FEMA chief James Lee Witt. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced this week that the U.S. has just experienced its warmest January-March period since records have been kept.