"Australia has endured two of its deadliest summers on record, blamed in part on global warming, but record fires, floods and cyclones have not persuaded it to take strong action on climate change. But some experts hope that Wednesday's arrival of giant Cyclone Yasi on the coast of Queensland, already hit by massive floods last month, will help bring more of a sense of urgency to the political debate over climate policy."
Australia & Oceania
"A huge cyclone barrelling towards Australia was Wednesday upgraded to the highest threat level as meteorologists warned it was shaping up to be the most life-threatening storm in generations."
"Climate change has likely intensified the monsoon rains that have triggered record floods in Australia's Queensland state, scientists said on Wednesday, with several months of heavy rain and storms still to come."
"Thousands of residents of Australia's third-largest city evacuated homes on Wednesday as massive floods threatened to inundate the financial district, sparked panic buying of food and left authorities despairing for more than 90 people missing."
"Australian troops and emergency workers were Monday battling huge flooding in the country's northeast that has left at least two people dead, with the worst devastation yet to come for some areas."
The US-owned bottled water giant Fiji Water shut down operations in the military-ruled Pacific nation of Fiji Monday, after the nation raised the tax on pumping the water the firm exports.
"Indonesia's Mount Merapi blasted ash and gas into the sky on Thursday, killing six more people in the latest in a series of eruptions over the past nine days that claimed 44 lives and forced more than 75,000 to flee their homes."
"The death toll from a tsunami and a volcano rose to 376 Thursday as more victims of Indonesia's double disasters were found and an official said a warning system installed after a deadly ocean wave in 2004 had broken from a lack of maintenance."
"The South Pacific island nation of Palau has declared all the waters within its Exclusive Economic Zone to be a marine mammal sanctuary for the protection of whales, dolphins, and dugongs."