I was lucky enough to be invited to attend the latest seminar run by the Willis Research Network (WRN) yesterday evening. The WRN is a partnership between academia and the insurance industry which focuses on evaluating the frequency, severity and impact of extreme events.
The event outlined the latest research on two topics; tropical cyclone modelling using Nested General Circulation models and European Extreme Windstorm Clustering. Research such as this demonstrates the need for high technology and computing power to provide repeatable models of climatic events. Of course as models get better and more accomplished at prediction of events, it then becomes easier for financial markets to create indexes and tradeable risk instruments to help manage the financial burden caused by the impact of such events.
Hats off to the Willis Research Network for helping to produce such cutting edge research!
The research itself is very interesting and worth reading if you have even a passing interest in risk modelling and prediction. You can download the two research pieces here on the WRN website where you can also find many other interesting papers on risk modelling.