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Opinion

The new height of Mount Everest is 8,848.86 meters, say Nepal and China

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The height of the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest, is 8,848.86 meters, Nepal and China jointly announced on Tuesday to end a long-standing debate about the height of the world’s tallest mountain.

The new height is 86cm, a little less than 3 feet, higher than the previous measurement, the country’s Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali said at a briefing on Tuesday.

The height of the mountain peak that straddles the Nepal-China border was announced simultaneously by Nepalese Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Kathmandu and Beijing, according to the Kathmandu Post.

“This is a historic day,” Foreign Minister Gyawali said, while making the long-awaited announcement on Tuesday.

Nepal had been working to measure the height of Mount Everest since 2011.

Everest’s official snow height of 8,848 meters (29,028 feet) was measured by the Survey of India in 1954.

The precise height of Mount Everest had been in question since a group of British surveyors in India declared the height of Peak XV, as it was initially called, to be 8,778 meters in 1847.

Between 1849 and 1855, the Survey of India made observations from Dehradun, the base of India, to the Sonakhoda base in Bihar, during which the Himalayan peaks of Nepal were also observed. At that time it was not known that this Himalayan peak was the highest in the world. During the calculations, the calculated mean height of Peak XV turned out to be 8839.80 meters, and was later named after Sir George Everest, the former General Surveyor of India. The widely accepted height of 8,848 meters was determined by the 1954 Bihar Survey of India using the trigonometric method.

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