Brain Booster for UPSC & State PCS Examination (Topic: Height of Mount Everest)

Brain Booster for UPSC & State PCS Examination

Current Affairs Brain Booster for UPSC & State PCS Examination

Topic: Height of Mount Everest

Height of Mount Everest

Why in News?

  • According to the Nepali Times, almost a year after China and Nepal together decided to re-measure the elevation of the world’s highest mountain, the two countries are soon expected to announce its latest official height.

Need to Re-measure

  • Everest’s current official height– 8,848m– has been widely accepted since 1956, when the figure was measured by the Survey of India.
  • The height of the summit, however, is known to change because of tectonic activity, such as the 2015 Nepal earthquake. Its measurement over the decades has also depended on who was surveying.
  • Another debate is whether the height should be based on the highest rock point or the highest snow point.
  • For years, Nepal and China disagreed over the issue, which was resolved in 2010 when China accepted Nepal’s claim of the snow height being 8,848m, while the Nepali side recognised the Chinese claim of the rock height at 8,844.43m.
  • Then in 2019, when Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Nepal, the two countries agreed to remeasure Everest’s height and announce the findings together.
  • According to the Nepali Times, a reason behind the joint effort is that previous measurements of the mountain were by Indian, American or European surveyors, and that the joint effort represents national pride for Nepal and China who will now come up with their own figure.

Measurement Underway

  • A team from Nepal completed its task last year, and China carried out its expedition in May 2020, amid the coronavirus pandemic. Both teams are using different points of reference for sea level – China using the Yellow sea and Nepal using a point close to the Bay of Bengal coast.
  • Nepal has completed its calculations, and is waiting for China to complete its part of the task. A date for the joint announcement has been pushed back because of the pandemic.
  • The mission to measure the world’s highest peak was taken up on a serious note in 1847, and culminated with the finding of a team led by Andrew Waugh of the Royal Surveyor General of India. The team discovered that ‘Peak 15’ — as Mt Everest was referred to then — was the highest mountain, contrary to the then prevailing belief that Mt Kanchenjunga (8,582 m) was the highest peak in the world.
  • That survey, based on trigonometric calculations, is known as the Great Trigonometric Survey of India.

About Mount Everest

  • Mount Everest or Sagarmatha, Earth’s highest mountain above sea level, is located in the Himalayas between China and Nepal -– the border between them running across its summit point.
  • Its current official elevation – 8,848m – places it more than 200m above the world’s second-highest mountain, K2, which is 8,611m tall and located in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
  • The mountain gets its English name from Sir George Everest, a colonial-era geographer who served as the Surveyor General of India in the mid-19th century.
  • Considered an elite climbing destination, Everest was first scaled in 1953 by the Indian-Nepalese Tenzing Norgay and New Zealander Edmund Hillary.