The Western Pacific is a region of dramatic contrasts in human history. This chapter reviews the climatic and cultural dynamics in the mid-Holocene period in the Western Pacific region. For both Australia and New Guinea, it is possible to construct plausible propositions that link mid- to late-Holocene climatic changes to cultural dynamics, through the mechanisms of technological and subsistence pattern responses to increased uncertainty about access to or control of critical resources. Changes in this region have been attributed most often to demographic and social factors, but some of them might be responses to relative resource scarcity induced by mid-Holocene climatic changes. Evidence from across the Western Pacific region indicates that significant climatic changes occurred during the mid-Holocene. This study begins with an account of the regional climatology of the Western Pacific region, which suggests that the basic zonal pattern of atmospheric circulation and regional and local factors play a major role in controlling the distribution of rainfall. Climatic and environmental change in the mid-Holocene is discussed, based on terrestrial reconstructions, ocean-atmosphere reconstructions, and Holocene evolution of El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Following this, this chapter considers cultural developments during the mid- to late-Holocene in Near Oceania in relation to the long-term history of climatic and environmental change. It also explores the question of the extent of climatic change in impacting the process of agriculture. The area of research yet to be explored is that of the philosophical difference between perceptions of culture change processes as determined mainly by intrinsic or extrinsic factors. © 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.