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Scientists launch project to analyse storms

A group of scientists has launched a project to fully analyse the effect of the recent devastating winter storms on coastlines and communities. Britain has had the wettest winter since national records began in 1910, with "energetic" storms that saw gusts of up to 108mph.

Spring tide at Tynemouth. Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Lasting for 12 months, the 50,000 study has been launched to examine the direct impact of the weather in south west England. It is hoped the project, carried out by scientists from Plymouth University, will help develop adaptation strategies to protect from future storms.

Professor Gerd Masselink, principal investigator at the university's Rapid Coastal Response Unit said: "The coastal impact of this sequence of extreme Atlantic storms has been very significant.

"At several locations, prominent coastal landforms - such as bridges, stacks and arches - have disappeared, suggesting that at least some of the coastal changes will be permanent. However, many changes will turn out to be, in fact, reversible - such is the nature of a dynamic coastline."

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