This work provides an overview of the literature on the current and projected social and health effects of climate change in countries affected by sub-Antarctic atmospheric circulation, including Argentina, Australia, Chile, New Zealand, and South Africa. These countries, which for convenience we gloss as ‘40 South’, are already experiencing considerable impact. Climate change particularly impacts on water and food security, extreme weather events and migration. Projections indicate that the continuing impact of climate change may precipitate political and socioeconomic crises, including increased local, regional, and international migration. We highlight the similarity of the countries in terms of geography, current, and projected climate change impacts, adopted mitigation and adaptation strategies, and vulnerable population groups. While the health and social consequences of climate change draw attention to the differences in the social, political, and economic differences between the countries, we argue the strategic and scientific value of comparisons between them. WIREs Clim Change 2011, 2:902–918. doi: 10.1002/wcc.138

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