Investigation launched into Mt Everest's shrinking

Scientists are trying to find out if the world's highest mountain has shrunk.

Mt Everest is thought to have lost 2.5cm in a major earthquake two years ago, so a team of Indian scientists is being sent to find out.

Kiwi Peter Cammell climbed Mt Everest before the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that killed thousands of people and changed the Himalayan landscape.

Now satellite readings suggest the impact of the quake reduced Everest's widely-recognised 8848m peak by up to 2.5cm.

It's prompted a 30-strong Indian surveying team to climb to the summit and take GPS measurements to determine whether the mountain's height has also changed.

"We've got all these factors like climate change which might have taken the level of the snow down and we've had the influence of the earthquake," Mr Cammell says.

But he says if it has decreased in size, it won't change the extremely difficult climb.

"I don't think it will make any difference at all to the climbing of it," Mr Cammell says.

"In fact probably the biggest influence on the height of the mountain is the number of prayer flags that people leave on the summit."

The team have begun preparations for the climb which will take place when the conditions are ready.