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China to re-measure Mt. Everest

By Anil K Joseph in Beijing
February 19, 2005 10:01 IST
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China will measure the height of Mt. Everest for the sixth time this May to find out whether global warming has impacted the world's highest peak.

The State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping will dispatch a special team of 10 professional surveyors and climbers to Mt. Everest, China Daily quoted an SBSM official as saying.

The mission has been approved by the State Council, the Chinese Cabinet.

After 30 years of geological movement in this region, the current height of mountain may have changed, the SBSM official said, adding that the improvement of surveying technologies would help the upcoming survey to achieve a more
precise result.

Besides, many climbing teams from various countries have conducted surveys in recent years and got different data about the height of Mt. Everest, he said.

According to a timetable drafted by the bureau, the team will arrive in Tibet in March and enter the area of Qomolangma (the Chinese name for Mt. Everest) a month later,

he said.

"In May, members of team will brave their way to the peak of Qomolangma," the official said.

China's mountaineering team first surveyed the height of Mt. Everest in 1975 and the State Council later confirmed the altitude of the peak as 8,848.13 metres above sea level.

Since then, the bureau has organised four surveys, with the last in 1998, but the official height of the mountain remained the same, the official noted.

"It is very necessary to conduct another official survey of the height of the highest peak," he said.

At the same time, large scale surveying and mapping work will be organised in the surrounding areas of Qomolangma to provide benchmark data when counting the height of peak as well to conduct researches on the global science in this region, he noted.

Due to global warming in recent decades, the environmental changes in Qomonlangma area have become an urgent subject that needs more research, Sun Honglie, an academician with the China Academy of Sciences said.

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Anil K Joseph in Beijing
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