The Physics
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Altitude of the Highest Point on Earth

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Bibliographic Entry Result
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Fellman, Jerome D., Arthur Getis, & Judith Getis. Introduction to Geography. Chicago: WCB, 1992: 66. "Currently, Mount Everest is measured as standing 8846 meters (29,028 ft) above sea level." 8846 m
"Mount Everest." World Book. 2000 ed. Vol. 13. Chicago: World Book, 2000: 884. "Mount Everest is the highest mountain in the world. It rises about 5.5 miles (8.9 kilometers) above sea level." 8900 m
Magill, Frank N. Magill's Survey of Science. Earth Science Series. Pasadena, CA: Salem Press, 1990: 1074. "Nine of the fourteen tallest peaks are in Nepal, including the world's highest mountain, Mount Everest, at 8872 meters." 8872 m
Huxley, Anthony. Standard Encyclopedia of the World's Mountains. New York: Putnam, 1962: 147. "Height 29,002 feet (also estimated at 29,145 feet)." 8839 m
Davis, Kenneth C. Don't Know Much About Geography. New York: William Morrow, 1992: 87. "Although its precise height is disputed, Everest rises to some 29,108 feet (8872 meters), or about 5.5 miles high, the tallest in the greatest chain of mountains on earth, the Himalayas." 8872 m
"Exact Mt. Everest Measurement Made." Associated Press Online. 12 November 1999. "How high is the highest point on earth? Now, six months later, the answer has been revealed: Mount Everest rises to 29,035 feet, 7 feet higher than the altitude officially recognized for 45 years." 8850 m
Means, Andrew. Climbing Ecuador's Mount Chimborazo. Gorp. "The 20,561 feet mountain has its own impressive claim to fame." 6267 m
Quito. Ecuadorian Tours. "At 6310 meters it is the highest mountain in Ecuador with a snow capped peak and the highest point on earth." 6310 m

Mount Everest is one of the seven wonders of the natural world. Not surprisingly the highest point on the earth's surface is located there on the border of Nepal and China. Although the exact height of the mountain have been disputed by surveyors for many years the most recent measurement revealed the mountain to stand at 8850 meters, nearly 5.5 miles.The adventure that led to this result took place in May 1999. Bill Crouse and his crew set an expedition to find the height of this point. Six months later they returned and claimed to have found the exact measurement of the highest point on earth's surface.

Mount Everest is the highest peak in the Himalayan mountain range. People were unaware that it was the tallest mountain in the world until 1856. George Everest of India made the discovery. Plate tectonics show that the height of Everest is still increasing at a steady rate of approximately one centimeter (0.394 inch) per year.

Mount Everest is over 8000 m above sea level. Winds travel at 161 kilometers per hour; the windchill is often 96 degrees Celsius below zero. At such high altitudes as Everest, less oxygen is able to enter the lungs, making it difficult to breathe. The amount of oxygen usable for breathing is determined by pressure in the atmosphere. The greater the atmospheric pressure the closer the oxygen molecules. At high altitudes, atmospheric pressure decreases, and air molecules are further separated. Therefore there is less oxygen that is able to enter the lungs.

Though most people have recognized the highest point at Mount Everest, Mount Chimborazo located near the city of Riobamba, Ecuador may also be considered as the highest point on earth. Although it is not as well known as Mount Everest, standing at 6310 meters it is also quite remarkable. Mount Chimborazo can be regarded as the highest point on earth because the planet is widest at the equator. The summit of Mount Chimborazo is then 3219 m further from the center of the earth than Mount Everest, making it what some consider the highest point. On the summit of Mount Chimborazo people will weigh less than any other location on earth.

As the highest point on the earth's surface, Everest has become the ultimate challenge for any determined high altitude climber. A group led by George Mallory first attempted it in 1921, however the summit was not reached until 1953 when Sir Edmand Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay of New Zealand survived the challenging task. Edward Whymper of Britain was the first man to successfully reach the summit of Mount Chimborazo in 1880.

Christina Wong -- 2001