Mount Everest Gets a New Height | Nepal and China Agree on Height
How tall is Mount Everest? Until now, it depended on whom you asked. China said it was 29,017 feet (8844 meters). Nepal said it was a little taller, at 29,028 feet (8848 meters).
The countries have closed that 11-foot gap and reached an agreement. Mount Everest is more than 0.86 meters or two feet taller now with a new height of 29,031.69 feet (8848.6488 meters)
The world’s tallest peak this week will get a new, unified official height from the two nations it straddles. After yearslong surveys, China and Nepal will announce the peak’s stature Tuesday, Susheel Dangol, the man in charge of Nepal’s Everest-measurement project, said Sunday. Officials at Nepal’s foreign ministry and department of the survey said surveyors from both countries had co-ordinated to agree on the new height.
The agreement to jointly announce the new measurement of the Earth’s highest point was made during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to the Nepalese capital, Kathmandu last year.
Everest stands on the border between China and Nepal and mountaineers climb it from both sides. So Everest still stands as the tallest mountain in the world followed by Mount k2 which stands at a height of 8611 m.
Why the difference over official height?
Chinese authorities had said previously Mount Everest should be measured to its rock height, while Nepalese authorities argued the snow on top of the summit should be included.
Why else has the height been questioned?
Some geologists have suggested a major earthquake in 2015 may have had an impact on Mount Everest’s height. The 7.8 magnitude earthquake killed nearly 9,000 people in Nepal and caused an avalanche which buried parts of the base camp at the mountain. Some geologists said the earthquake may have caused Everest’s snowcap to shrink.
How was Mount Everest re-measured?
The heights of mountains are measured with the mean sea level as the base. So it’s less about working out the where the top is than where the bottom would be. Nepal used the Bay of Bengal as its sea level, but India had already surveyed a point closer to Everest, near the India-Nepal border, from the bay, and was able to provide the Nepalese surveyors with the height at that point. From there, Nepal built a network of line-of-sight stations stretching nearly 250km (155 miles) to the point Everest first become visible, creating a chain of points it could measure and add together. The Chinese surveyors, according to the state-run China Daily, used the Yellow Sea in the eastern province of Shandong as their sea-level base.
Some people even joked how they would need more rope and equipment for their next Everest expedition but we assure you that won’t be a problem.