As temperatures soared to record levels and drought gripped the land in South Africa’s driest year since records started being kept in 1904, climate researchers are saying: we’d better get used to this.

By 2050, this could be normal weather. One ominous sign, as 2015 checked in as the hottest year on record, is that we have been experiencing a particularly vicious El Niño season. The big deal about all of this is El Niño’s value as an indicator.

Read more in the March issue of Popular Mechanics – ON SALE NOW!