Why did Mount Everest's height change? Know the reason, process of measurement and more here

Mount Everest has a new revised registered height now. China and Nepal jointly announced its new height in a virtual ceremony. Know why Mount Everest's height changes, measurement methods followed since ages and more here
Created On: Dec 15, 2020 16:51 IST
Modified On: Dec 15, 2020 17:00 IST
Mount Everest Height Changed
Mount Everest Height Changed

The world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest is officially higher now. After many years, China and Nepal had finally agreed on conducting a very precise elevation for the mountain. The new agreed-upon height of the peak is 8,848.86 meters (29,031.69 feet). It was announced at a virtual ceremony recently.

How much did Mount Everest grow?

The recent height of the mountain is 86 centimetres higher than the measurement which was previously recognised by Nepal and four metres more than China's official figure.

China and Nepal jointly presented a new official figure of 8,848.86 meters (29,031.69 feet) above sea level.

The question, however, hasn’t settled for good yet. The various ways in which the height measurement is carried on would surely lead to differences among the nations. 

Why did Mount Everest's height change?

The mountain’s height changes due to the movement of tectonic plates. As the Indian plate slips under the Eurasian plate, it uplifts the Himalayas. The plate’s movement can lift it up, while earthquakes in the region tend to bring it down.

The countervailing forces of Earth bring about a degree of stability over a period of time. For example, a massive earthquake took place in 1934. It wiped out 150 years of steady height increment of the mountain in a few seconds.

How is the Mount Everest measured from 19th Century till now?

  1. Earlier in the 19th century, Sir George Everest was the Surveyor General of India. In those times, under the colonial rule, trigonometry was used to measure mountains. Optical instruments like theodolites were used. They were a kind of a cross between a telescope and a compass and measured the angles between visible points on the horizon, and the vertical planes. Until now municipal surveyors use tripod versions of these.
  2. Currently, accurate measurements can be taken with laser-equipped versions of theodolites 
  3. Nowadays the satellite navigation marker on Everest’s peak is set up to gauge its exact position via GPS satellites.
  4. Ground-penetrating radar can also be used to measure the amount of snow and ice is present on the top of its highest rock.

Mount Everest Height: Facts

When measured from the Earth’s core, Ecuador’s Mount Chimborazo happens to be the world’s highest mountain being 2,072 meters or 6,800 feet higher than the Everest. This happens because the Earth bulges at the equator and so the mountains along it are farther from the core.

When measured from the foot of the mountain, Hawaii’s Mauna Kea happens to be the tallest. However, most of the mountain lies under the sea.

Thus it can be said that Mount Everest is the highest mountain peak but conditionally. However, its height has been constantly increasing and it is said to increase 4 cms every year. 

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FAQ

Is Mount Everest found in India?

No Mount Everest is located on the border of Nepal and Tibet

How many dead bodies are there on Mount Everest till today?

Until 2019 there were more than 200 bodies found at various places on the mountain

Where is Mount Everest?

The world's highest peak, Mount Everest sits at Nepal's border with Tibet in the Himalayas