The height of Mt Everest has grown by 86cm to now measure 8848.86m, the foreign ministers of Nepal and China revealed at a joint virtual live event on Tuesday.
The announcement came three days before International Mountain Day 2020 on 11 December, and in the week when China’s Chang’e 5 lunar probe is starting its return to Earth with soil samples from the Moon’s surface.
Mt Everest’s elevation of 8,848m (29,028ft) had been accepted since 1955. But depending on who is counting, the height has been plus-minus a dozen or so metres since then.
The new measurement of Sagarmatha-Zhumulangma (Mt Everest) was declared by Nepal’s Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali in Kathmandu and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Beijing by pressing a crystal ball simultanesouly. The two also exchanged congratulatory messages from Nepali President Bidya Devi Bhandari and Chinese President Xi Jinping to each other.
The new height puts end to speculation about whether Mt Everest had risen or shrunk and by how much after the 2015 earthquake, or if there would be a wide discrepancy between measurements by Chinese and Nepali surveyors.