KATHMANDU, Nepal — China and Nepal have jointly announced a new official height for Mount Everest, ending a discrepancy between the two nations that share a border on the world's highest mountain.
The new height of the world's highest peak is 8,848 meters (29,032 feet), slightly more than Nepal's previous measurement and about four meters (13 feet) higher than China's. It's also higher than the 29,029-foot-height commonly used dating back to a survey conducted by India in the early 1950s.
The new height was agreed on after the two counties sent surveyors from their respective sides of the mountain in 2019 and 2020. The teams used a combination of old-fashioned trigonometry and the latest technology that relies on readings from satellite navigation systems and models of sea level, according to the Washington Post.
“We can be confident that this is the most accurate height of Everest that we have ever had,” said Susheel Dangol, Nepal’s chief survey officer, who headed the project. “It was a huge responsibility on our part. It is a moment of great pride for us.”
There had been debate over the actual height and concern that Everest might have shrunk after a major earthquake in Nepal in 2015. The exact height is in flux, geologists say, because of shifting tectonic plates that can push a mountain up and earthquakes, which can cause it to sink.
Nepal previously measured Everest’s height as 8,848 meters, while China put it at 8,844, because it did not include the snow cap.