For most of my life "Glacial (adjective)" has been synonymous with "slow" and "gradual." Get me re-write, it's starting to mean "sudden," and "gone forever." The new poster child for global warming is what was once the world's highest altitude ski spot: the Chacaltaya glacier, at 17,400 ft. in the Andes. No more glacier, no more skiing. The ski resort closed a few years back, now the Bolivian government plants to hold a wake for glacier, also gone.
An aside, I rarely give investment tips but there seems to be a trend: disappearing glaciers and snowpack. Could mean the only smart investment in the ski industry would be snow-making machines. Unless skiing simply goes the way of gladiators and jousting.
The former Bolivian glacier, Chacaltaya, was being closely monitored by scientists there. A few years back they thought it would last until 2015. But the melt accelerated as bad things tend to do. Now only a few small pockets of snow remain, nothing that could be called a glacier, no melt that could be called "glacial."
One less ski resort, like losing a golf course to drought. Big deal. But much more is in the balance. A native tribe lives on the plain below the galcier and their water supply has come from a river fed by the glacier. The river is running dry and as tribe that outlasted the conquest of Inca and then Spanish and the invasion of TV signals now faces extinction, or urbanization. Which would you choose?