Mt Everest is taller…wait for it… by 0.86cm!

The new height of Mount Everest was announced as 8,848.86 metres, at a virtual event.

Credit : Britannica

After a year-long debate between China and Nepal, the new height of Mount Everest was announced as 8,848.86 metres, at a virtual event. The announcement was made on Tuesday by Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, Foreign Minister of Nepal, who said that the height has increased by 0.86 centimetres.

The mountain was last measured at 8,848 metres in 1954 by India, which was the widely accepted and recognised height of Sagarmatha, the Nepali name for Mt Everest. A 1999 American survey sponsored by the National Geographic Society and others used a global positioning system (GPS) equipment to determine the height as 8,850 metres, close to what India had declared earlier. However, after the 2015 Nepal earthquake which shook the entire nation, people had begun speculating that the mountain’s height might have altered.

Nepal’s Department of Survey had begun the exercise to measure the height of Mt Everest two years ago, said a Times Now report. During Chinese President Xi Ping's visit in 2019, Nepal and China had agreed to jointly announce the revised height of the world's tallest peak. Deputy Director General at the Department of Survey, had stated that “people who actively took part in this procedure” would be felicitated at the announcement ceremony.

As per Kathmandu Post, Sushil Dangol, the national coordinator of the Mt Everest Height Measurement Secretariat and deputy director-general of the Survey Department, said that the Nepali survey was a mixture of the traditional and latest technologies conducting five sets of surveys: precise levelling, trigonometric levelling, gravity survey, global navigation satellite system, or GNSS, survey and summit observation. Nepal’s own survey team led by Khim Lal Gautam climbed Everest on May 22, 2019, and installed global positioning system equipment and ground-penetrating radar at the summit.