Editor's note

The pressure was on Prime Minister Scott Morrison the moment he landed in Tuvalu for this week’s Pacific Islands Forum.

Pacific Island leaders are no longer satisfied with words of concern over climate change and funding for resilience programs – they want real commitment from Australia to scale back on coal production and cut greenhouse gas emissions.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made things even more difficult for Morrison when she said upon arriving in Tuvalu: “Australia has to answer to the Pacific.”

As Tess Newton Cain explains, however, it will be incredibly difficult for Morrison to deliver what the Pacific leaders are seeking. And this could be problematic for his much-vaunted Pacific ‘step-up’ – and his efforts to counter China’s rise in the region.

Justin Bergman

Deputy Editor: Politics + Society

Top stories

Pacific leaders don’t want to talk about China’s rising influence – they want Scott Morrison to make a firm commitment to cut Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions. Mick Tsikas/AAP

Can Scott Morrison deliver on climate change in Tuvalu – or is his Pacific ‘step up’ doomed?

Tess Newton Cain, The University of Queensland

It's becoming increasingly obvious that Australia's inability – or refusal – to take firmer action on climate change is undermining its entire 'Pacific step-up'.

Science doesn’t appear to support the modern myth that women are super-human multitaskers. From shutterstock.com

Women aren’t better multitaskers than men – they’re just doing more work

Leah Ruppanner, University of Melbourne

The myth that women are superior multitaskers has just been busted. So, let's divide work in and out of the home so women aren't left running themselves ragged.

Shared houses work well for 82% of people living in them in their early 20s, but only 25% see this as a long-term option. Earlyspatz/Wikimedia

First home buyer schemes aren’t enough to meet young adults’ housing aspirations

Sharon Parkinson, Swinburne University of Technology; Amity James, Curtin University; Steven Rowley, Curtin University; Wendy Stone, Swinburne University of Technology

The housing aspirations of young Australians change as they enter their late 20s and early 30s. But having somewhere safe and secure to call home is the top priority for all young adults.

Since the last ice age, the ice sheet retreated over a thousand kilometres in the Ross Sea region, more than any other region on the continent. Rich Jones

New research shows that Antarctica’s largest floating ice shelf is highly sensitive to warming of the ocean

Dan Lowry, Victoria University of Wellington

New research shows that ocean and air temperatures both contributed to the melting of Antarctica's Ross Ice Shelf in the past, but melting from below by a warming ocean became more important over time.

Health + Medicine

  • Patients have rights. Here’s how to use yours

    Lisa Eckstein, University of Tasmania; Rebekah McWhirter, University of Tasmania

    It's all very well having rights. But what do these rights really mean when you're with your GP, in hospital or in a nursing home?


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