Six decades after India measured Mount Everest in 1954, earlier this week Nepal and China have announced a new height of the peak. And it turns out that the worldÂs tallest peak has grown almost two feet taller than before. In fact, the Himalayas are growing taller every year almost by an inch due to the continental drift. Yes, you read that right! The Himalayas are growing! So, the new height of Mt. Everest is 8,848.86 meters.
The new height of the peak has rekindled the decades-long dispute between the neighbouring countries with whom the mountain shares its border. Chinese Premier Xi Jinping has already described Mount Everest as an important symbol of China-Nepal traditional friendship and announced that both countries have agreed to Mt. Everest being a boundary peak and the ÂPeak of China-Nepal FriendshipÂ.
The History of Himalayas
About 200 Million years ago when Eurasian Plate and Indian tectonic Plate collided due to high buoyancy, neither of the plates could be subducted and instead led to thick sedimentations in between. The continued crumpling and collision of tectonic plates over time caused the continental crust to thicken. Such compressional forces led to folding and faulting, pushing the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau upwards.
Every Year the Himalayas rise by an inch but at the same time forces like weathering and erosion are also lowering the height at almost the same rate, thus making not a significant change in the height for decades now.
The peak has remained a matter of conflict between China and Nepal as it plays a significant role in the settlement of the boundary between the two countries since 1950 when Beijing gave up its claim over the mountain.
The conflict continued until the ruling Communist Party of China founder Mao Zedong suggested that the Âboundary line should pass through the summit of Mt. Everest in 1961 which was agreed upon by Nepal.
In 1847, British surveyors in India declared the height of Mount Everest (then Peak XV) to be 8778 meters and ever since then there has been a dispute regarding the height of the same.
This revised height of 8,848.86 meters has put an end to all the discussions and controversies regarding the same between the two countries.
Joint Secretary of NepalÂs Department Survey said that they have used the previous methods applied in ascertaining the height as well as Global Navigational Satellite System (GNSS)and the latest data available. The fact that needs to be highlighted here is that both Chinese and Nepali data tallied accurately.
The officials in a virtual event announced the new height and marked the day as a historic day.