Mount Everest has grown by almost a metre
The first time that China and Nepal have agreed the height
Previous calculation had been the result of an Indian survey
Mount Everest – the world’s highest mountain – has had its vast height recalculated by Nepal and China who have both agreed that its epic stature is actually 86cm higher than previously calculated.
The height of the mountain, which is the world’s tallest range above sea-level, has been widely disputed between the two countries; China and Nepal, whose border runs through the mountain and across the summit of Everest.
The mountains new measurements see it stand at a colossal 8,848.86 m (29,032 ft) after it was surveyed by a Nepali survey in 2020 and subsequently confirmed by a subsequent Chinese survey.
Whilst the figure is not far off the original calculated height by Nepal, it adds nearly 4 metres from previous Chinese calculations. There are a number of reasons for this however the most specific one is that the Chinese calculations did not include the depth of snow on the summit of the mountain whereas the Nepali calculations did.
There have been ongoing debates for decades about the actual height of Everest however there has been growing dispute about the size of the mountain in recent years after it was feared that Everest may have shrunk after a major earthquake in the area in 2015.
This is the first time that the Chinese and Nepali governments have agreed on the height of Mount Everest with the Nepali government telling the BBC in 2012 that they had been under increasing political pressure from China to accept their measurement.
The original official height measurement of Mount Everest was the result of a survey conducted by the Survey of India in 1954, this is the first time that Nepal has conducted its own survey and the first time that the height of Everest has been agreed by both China and Nepal.
The Nepali survey team spent two whole years training for the survey before taking up the mantle of heading to the summit.
Speaking to the BBC, Damodar Dhakal, spokesman at Nepal’s department of survey, said, “Before this, we had never done the measurement ourselves,”
He continued, “Now that we have a young, technical team [who could also go to the Everest summit], we could do it on our own,”
Khimlal Gautam, the lead surveyor for the Nepali team and who lost his toe due to frostbite while on one visit to the summit of Everest, said, “For summiteers, scaling the highest peak means a great accomplishment. For us, it was just the beginning,”
“Unlike other surveys of the Everest in the past, we chose 03:00 to minimize errors that could have been caused because of sunlight in the day-time.”
At a joint press conference between China and Nepal, Susheel Dangol, Deputy Director General at Nepal’s Department of Survey, told CNN, “The project was a matter of national pride for Nepal and a prestigious undertaking for the Nepali government. I feel very proud that we were able to complete it successfully,”.
“Nepal and China jointly processed the surveyed data and came up with the result.”
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“Mount Everest – the world’s highest mountain – has grown by almost a metre”
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