Mount Everest got slightly taller in 2020


The joint survey is significant as China in 2018 differed with Nepal over the height of Mt. Everest and stuck to its calculations that the peak of the world's tallest mountain was four meters less than Kathmandu's measurement.

Nepal and China have jointly announced that Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world, is 8,848.86 metres.

Until today, the official height of Sagarmatha as it is called in Nepal was 8,848 metres.

Nepal chose to conduct a survey - initially alone and later joined by China - after suggestions that tectonic plate movements including a major natural disaster in 2015 may have affected the height.

After Chinese President Xi Jinping's state visit to Nepal last October, the two countries agreed to remeasure the height of the mountain in a bid to end the long-standing dispute once for all.

But the most accepted height has been 8,848 meters (29,028 feet), which was determined by the Survey of India in 1954.

At least 311 people have died on the mountain. Nepal had sent a team of surveyors to the top of the peak in May 2019, while China sent a team earlier this year.

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A 2005 Chinese survey of Everest put the mountain's height at 8,844 metres, in line with the estimates from a 1955 Indian survey.

In 1999, a National Geographic Society team using Global Positioning System technology came up with a height of 29,035 feet. This survey was sponsored by the National Geographic Society (of the US) and it will still be used by the Society until the new measurement is verified, National Geographic reported on Tuesday.

A survey team from China then conducted measurements in the spring of 2020 while all other expeditions were canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. China's stance was that the peak should be measured to its rock height, while their Nepalese counterparts argued that the the overall height of the mountain (including snow) should be measured.

The mountain, lies in the Himalayas on the border between China and Nepal, has been the centre of a debate between the two countries for years.

China is willing to join hands with Nepal to actively promote the cooperation in ecological and environmental protection and scientific research, and better safeguard the precious wealth and home of both peoples, Xi said.

For China, the announcement appeared to be as much about politics as geography.

Mount Everest isn't the first peak to have its official height revised, but majority lose metres when this happens. China has drawn Nepal ever closer into its orbit with investments in its economy and the building of highways, dams, airports and other infrastructure in the impoverished nation.