Kathmandu, Dec 8, 2020 - Mount Everest, the world's tallest mountain, now has a new height. Nepal and China, the two countries where the mountain is located, jointly agreed on the revised height of Mount Everest and unveiled it to the rest of the world on Tuesday. The new height of Mount Everest is now 8,848.86 meters/ 29,031 feet, 0.86m higher than the previous altitude.
Earlier Nepal as well as the international community accepted the measurement of Mount Everest as published by the Survey of India in 1954, which was 8,848 meters. China chose to differ and conducted its own survey in 2005 where it was found that the height of the mountain was actually 8844.43m.
After the 2015 earthquake in Nepal speculations were rife about the change in Mount Everest's elevation. This time around the Government of Nepal decided to conduct its own survey and after a painstaking journey trying to measure the mountain, the surveyors were successful in finding out the exact height.
The measurements started from Indo- Nepal border, in the southern plains of Nepal. While Chinese surveyors measured the altitude from the Yellow Sea. Trigonometry, surveying equipment like theodolites satellite positioning and gravity meters were used by the surveyors of both the countries to find out the exact height of the mountain.
Surveyors climbed to the top of Mount Everest from both sides to measure the exact height using satellite signals. While the Nepalese team of 2 scientists and 3 sherpas made the ascent in May 2019, the Chinese surveyors scaled the summit in May 2020. They were the only team to scale Mount Everest in the first climbing season of 2020. Both the teams spent more than 2 hours at the summit of Mount Everest to gauge its height. This was a feat in itself as most climbers only stay up to 10 to 15 minutes at the top.
This survey is the first of its kind conducted by Nepalese scientists. This is a proud moment for Nepal as a peak in Nepal has at last been measured by native Nepalese surveyors. The measurements of almost all the mountains in the Nepal Himalaya have been conducted by British or European geologists. The survey to measure the new height of Mount Everest is the first major project undertaken by the government of Nepal to measure a peak in its own country.