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Estonia to grow taller in a single day

Estonia to grow taller in a single day
Suur Munamägi, Estonia's highest point. Image: Vaido Otsar under a CC licence

21 July 2017

“My, my… haven’t you grown!” Usually a phrase reserved for awkward reunions with distant family members, remember to say it if you visit Estonia next year — the Baltic nation is set to grow several inches in a single day, after changing the way it measures heights above sea level.

Estonia is moving from the Russian system for measuring sea level in favour of the European Vertical Reference System. This switch will add between 15 and 24 cm to the country’s height on 1 January 2018, depending on the area of the country.

While sea level has previously been calculated from the Kronstadt tide gauge in St Petersburg — a system used by Russia and most countries in the post-Soviet space — the European system is based on the Amsterdam Ordnance Datum.

As a result of the switch, Estonia’s highest peak, Suur Munamägi, will grow 20cm, measuring in at 317.4m above sea level. Yes, Estonia is pretty flat…

“The Baltic elevation system of 1977 is obsolete… and then there’s the wish to be in one and the same system with Europe,” Estonian Land Board official Tambet Tiits told national broadcaster ERR, quoted by BBC News.

Source: BBC News