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No ice, no problem Qomolangma is still the highest peak

China Daily | Updated: 2018-02-14 07:22
File photo of Qomolangma.

SOME MEDIA REPORTS have suggested China has given up its previous data about Qomolangma's height of 8,844.43 meters and adopted the data of Nepal that measures the height of the mountain as 8,848.13 meters. However, the National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation has responded that China will adhere to its own data. Beijing News comments:

What is the exact height of Qomolangma, the highest mountain in the world?

The figure differs in China and Nepal. In 2005, China made a measurement of the ice cover on Qomolangma, concluding it has a depth of about 3.5 meters. Therefore, China regards the exact height of Qomolangma to be 8,844.43 meters.

Nepal, on the other hand, insists that the height of Qomolangma should include its ice cover, and thus measures the mountain's height as 8,848.13 meters.

One cannot say either side is wrong because the ice cover on Qomolangma is permanent, not seasonal.

Actually, international organizations admit both data, while both China and Nepal recognize the other's conclusion. Some analysts have suggested that Nepal insists on the gross height of Qomolangma out of economic interests, the reasoning being: The higher it is, the more people will want to climb it. Even though Qomolangma is the highest peak of the earth, it will still appeal to more climbers if it is declared 3.5 meters higher. For mountain climbers, every meter is important.

However, the National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation of China also has the right to insist on its figure, as that measurement is the result of scientific inquiry.

Although many people think that the purposes of scientific research are to develop productivity, improve the economy and people's lives, scientific research is also a quest for the truth and meaning.

  
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