Everest few meters shorter than previously thought

The world's tallest mountain, Mount Everest, is a few meters shorter than previously thought, Chinese scientists who measured the peak earlier this year said Sunday.

Their survey determined the mountain was 8,844.43 meters (29,017.16 feet), or 3.7 meters (12.14 feet) shorter than when it was last measured 30 years ago, said Chen Bangzhu, a spokesman with the Chinese State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping.

The survey was carried out by a team of 50 Chinese experts in May this year, Chen said at a press conference broadcast live on Chinese state television.

The new figure is based on the "most elaborate and precise data ever obtained by Chinese or foreign scientists," said Chen. Chen said the data did not mean the mountain had shrunk since it was last measured, but that previous measurements were less accurate.

A 1975 Chinese survey determined that the mountain was 8,848.13 meters (29,029.30 feet) high. Other estimates put its height at 8,850-meters (29,035-feet).

Everest's peak lies on the border between China and Nepal, with climbers providing a large source of income for people on both sides. The mountain is known in China as Mount Qomolangma, AP reports.

А. А.

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