The risk of extreme storms in the west of Ireland has increased by 25% as a direct result of human induced global warming, according to new calculations by a leading international environmental physicist.

Oxford University Professor Myles Allen said the mathematical calculations involved were so vast it required a network of thousands of home computers to achieve.

Many have wondered whether major storms such as those that hit the west coast of Ireland during January and February of last year can be directly attributed to human induced global warning.

The answer has never been clear cut because weather systems are by nature chaotic.

Weather extremes occur over short periods while climate change is measured over decades and beyond.

In that regard this is a groundbreaking study.

It is the first time ever that a scientist has examined the Irish weather in minute detail and managed to calculate precisely the impact that climate change is having on our weather.

Oxford Professor Myles Allen's clear cut conclusion is that the probability of extreme storms on the West coast of Ireland has increased by 25% - directly as a result of human-induced climate change.

He said that people particularly those in vulnerable communities need to know how climate will affect them in the future.

The implication of his study he said is that an extreme storm that might previously have been expected to occur once every 100 years in Ireland should now be expected every 80 years.

The numbers and the weather permutations involved in these conclusions were so vast they simply would not have been possible except that many thousands of home computer owners volunteered to network their processing capacity to enable the Professor Allen to perform his calculations.