The impact of extreme weather, such as strong gales and storms, on the insurance and forestry industries is to be the subject of a rearch project at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia.

The project team will be led by Dr Jean Palutikof, a climatologist, who also aims to predict the likely occurrence of future high winds due to global warming.

Most climate models predict an increase in storm activity in future, but results are still controversial.

Palutikof's team will examine future changes in cyclone behaviour by applying a storm-tracking model to atmospheric pressure data from the Meteorological Office's global climate model.

The team will also use regional models to look at details such as landscape, which has a large influence on wind-speeds, and to analyse changes in how often high wind-speeds occur.

The project is one of 21 new climate change projects announced this week by the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research.