At 29,029 feet above sea level, Mount Everest has been credited as the tallest mountain on Earth.

The only problem is that Mauna Kea, Hawaii's highest point, is 33,500 feet tall from its peak at 4,205 m (13,796 ft) above sea level to the bottom of the deep Hawaiian Trough.

So if we made the Himalayas to stand 33,500 feet above sea level, would it create any noticeable differences on India's climate?

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    $\begingroup$ Keep in mind that Hawaii is supported by the ocean. Water pressure is not insignificant - it helps keep the island from settling and spreading out, reducing its height (talking over geological time periods here). It's likely if the Himalayas were taller at one point, they'd have settled/reduced height faster as well because they don't have an ocean helping to hold them up. $\endgroup$ Jun 11, 2015 at 14:17
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    $\begingroup$ Is there any reason we can't credit Mount Everest for its height above sea level? I mean, what's the definition of a mountain anyway. Maybe it's just one giant continent wide mountain with the sea-trenches defining the low parts of the globe. $\endgroup$
    – Cort Ammon
    Jun 11, 2015 at 14:24
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    $\begingroup$ Also some would argue that just as you can calculate Mauna Kea's real height from the bottom of the ocean due to it's prominence. You could take into account the Himalayas roots since the subduction of the indian plate could technically be seen as the deepest part of the Hawaiian Through. According to this article that would be 150km beneath the surface which makes this seem all quite silly... livescience.com/… $\endgroup$ Jun 11, 2015 at 14:25
  • $\begingroup$ Given time, Everest will be over 33,500 tall. The himalayas are still growing taller each year. $\endgroup$
    – ShemSeger
    Jun 11, 2015 at 14:27
  • $\begingroup$ I thought K2 was growing faster though. $\endgroup$ Jun 11, 2015 at 14:27

2 Answers 2


This isn't my area of expertise, but my best guess is that the climate of India wouldn't see dramatic consequences.

The Himalayas are already tall enough to create a rain shadow and keep warm air currents to the south and cool currents to the north.

On the other hand those that live in the mountains and foothills may have some issues with the rise in elevation. For instance an awful lot of tea is grown on the southern and eastern slopes, if the elevation was to rise significantly it wold probably mean those crops would shift further south, if they could be grown at all.


Actually if I understand correctly, and Mr. Neil Tyson seems to agree, the Himalayas are nearing a theoretical limit in height due to their weight. Remember that the crust of the earth is floating on magma. The entire mountain range is beginning to sink because Everest is getting so tall. See this for more info.

That being said, there would not be much change if Everest grew to its absolute limit or if circumstances conspired to allow it to reach the height you suggest.

  • $\begingroup$ The Himalayans are being uplifted by the collision of India with Asia. This would counteract the sinking until India stops moving. $\endgroup$
    – Oldcat
    Jun 11, 2015 at 18:49
  • $\begingroup$ Still only up until a point. What it means is that the structure underneath the Himalayas is twice as strong as normal and will allow the mountains to grow twice as high, but gravity will put a stop to it (geologically) soon. $\endgroup$
    – IchabodE
    Jun 11, 2015 at 18:54

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