For many years we have known Mount Everest to be 8,848 metres high. This could change soon – Nepal is about to re-measure the highest peak on Earth.
For years Nepal and China have been in a dispute about the real height of Mount Everest, due to differences in the way it is measured. The mountain lies on the border and stretches into both countries.
Nepal still recognizes the measurement of 8,848 metres as recognized in an Indian survey in 1955, while China claims the height is 8,844 metres and an American survey showed 8,850 metres. The differences could be due to Nepal measuring the snow height of the mountain, while China recognizes the rock height only.
Because the officially recognized measurement was taken decades ago it is likely to be slightly incorrect. The Himalayas are a geologically very active area and still grow year by year – even though by a very small amount only. Due to changing climate the snow height on the mountain, which was taken into account in this measurement, has changed since the 1950s as well.
To end the confusion a new measurement using satellites will be carried out. Three different stations using gps have to be set up for this and the task will take about two years.