Mount Everest

Context in Current Affairs: The foreign ministers of China and Nepal recently certified the elevation of Mt Everest at 8,848.86 metres above sea level.

The new height is 86 centimetres higher than the height of the Mountain recognised since 1954. The countries China and Nepal jointly declaring the height of the peak says that there are long-standing differences in opinion about the mountain’s height has come to an end. According to China, the height of Mount Everest was 8844 metres and according to Nepal, it was 8848 metres.

There were several controversies in measuring the height of Mount Everest such as whether the Rock height should be included or if the snow cladding should also be accounted to the height, etc.

 Earlier measurements of Mount Everest

The Survey of India, in 1954 determined the height of Mount Everest as 8848 metres. This was accepted worldwide except China. The height of the peak was determined using instruments 50 theodolites and chains. Mount Everest lies between the border of China and Nepal.

In 1999, a team from the United States of America put the elevation of the Mountain as 8850 metres. The survey to measure the height of the mountain was sponsored by the National Geographic society.

The 2015 earthquake of Nepal triggered a debate among the scientists that the height of the Mountain has changed after the earthquake. Following this, the Nepal government decided to measure the mountain with the help of New Zealand. The New Zealand government provided Global Navigation satellite and trained technicians to measure the mountain. It is to be noted that sir Edmund Hillary, the first person to climb Mount Everest was from New Zealand.

On the other hand, the Chinese measurements were done separately. However, China and Nepal had signed a memorandum of understanding to declare the result together. Thus they declared the height of the mountain together.

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