Mount Everest is officially taller now

Chris Burns - Dec 8, 2020, 10:40am CST
Mount Everest is officially taller now

The most official calculation of the height of the world’s highest mountain has been updated. Nepal and China jointly announced an adjustment – or rather an agreement of a calculation – of the official height of the mountain. Before this announcement, China’s government marked the mountain’s height at 8,844.43 meters. That’s nearly four meters lower than the surveyed height counted by Nepal.

Part of the announcement of the agreement noted that recalculations were made during the Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Kathmandu in 2019. At that time, an agreement of the measurement was made.

Officials in Nepal at the country’s foreign ministry and department of survey made a joint announcement with Chinese authorities this week of the agreed height of the mountain. Before now, China measured the mountain at 8,844.43m – without the snow.

Nepal’s surveyed height of 8,848 meters included the snow, and was also based on the Survey of India back in 1954. Survey of India is based in India, known as The National Survey and Mapping Organization of the country (India) under the Department of Science & Technology.

An updated measurement was made by Nepal officials. Per Nepal survey officials , four land surveyors trained for two years and recorded their findings in full. You’ll see their official announcement in the video below. China sent a team of surveyors in May of 2020 and the two agreed on a single height.

Using agreed-upon points of reference using the Bay of Bengal as their official sea level, Nepal made a network of line-of-sight stations to triangulate an accurate height. China made similar efforts using the Yellow Sea in the eastern province of Shandong as reference for sea level.

The agreed-upon final height was 8,848.86m (29,032 ft). This is higher than China’s previous measurement, which was last marked by surveyors in 2005. It’s also higher than Nepal’s most recent measurement by nearly a full meter.

So it’s not as if Everest suddenly shot up a significant amount in the very recent past. The mountain DOES grow – albeit very, very slowly. This latest figure represents the most accurate calculations of the height of Everest yet recorded.


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