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The site of the hillfort of Vugala, northern Viti Levu island (Fiji). This was one of many hillforts in the area – home to a few hundred people according to reports from the 1840s – that were probably established around AD 1400 in response to conflict resulting from a food crisis that had come about as a result of an enduring fall in sea level. Patrick Nunn

Rise and fall: social collapse linked to sea level in the Pacific

Rising seas are one of the major concerns of Pacific Island nations, and looking at past sea-level change can help understand the future.
Tropical Cyclone Winston nears Fiji on February 20, 2016. NASA Goddard Rapid Response/NOAA

Winston strikes Fiji: your guide to cyclone science

Cyclone Winston produced wind speeds of around 300 km per hour, making it one of the strongest storms to make landfall.
More frequent disasters – such as Cyclone Pam which struck Vanuatu this year – will leave Pacific islands struggling to recover. Edgar Su/Reuters

Pacific islands are not passive victims of climate change, but will need help

As Prime Minister Tony Abbott attends the Pacific Island Forum summit today, attention has again turned to how the low-lying islands will deal with global warming.
People in the Philippines have been warned to brace for wet and wild weather, as this year’s El Nino shapes up to be the strongest since 1998. EPA/RITCHIE B. TONGO/AAP

2015-16 is shaping up to deliver a rollercoaster from strong El Niño to La Niña

The seesaw between El Niño and La Niña is set to get stronger with global warming. Signs are that this year and next will deliver a big swing from one to the other, prompting fires and floods across the world.
The large 1982 El Niño contributed to the Ash Wednesday bushfires that killed 75 people in south east Australia. Sydney Oats/Wikimedia

Odds keep rising for a big El Niño in 2015

El Niño has arrived, it's getting stronger, and it's not about to go away soon. And already there are rumblings that this could be a big one.
Out of sight out of mind? The vast majority of global warming is going into the ocean. peter dondel/Flickr

The climate ‘hiatus’ doesn’t take the heat off global warming

Over the past decade, warming air temperatures at Earth's surface appear to have slowed. But that ignores the vast majority of heat going steadily into the ocean. And, a new paper shows, that makes no difference to the long-term prognosis.
It’s all in the atmosphere. David Gray/Reuters

What caused the ‘pause’ in global warming?

Many people around the world, in certain locations, have asked, “where is global warming?” This is because they have experienced very cold wintry conditions and weird weather that they do not associate…

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