Apr 23, 2024 - News

New NOAA study adjusts height of 14ers in Colorado

Mile High marker on the west steps of the Colorado State Capitol. Photo: Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Mile High marker on the west steps of the Colorado State Capitol. Photo: Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Colorado is now 2 feet shorter in key places.

NOAA released a new sea level measurement that trims the height of the state's famous 14,000-foot peaks by two feet and adjusts others upward, the Colorado Sun reports.

Yes, but: The state's 14ers on the edge of delisting are safe. Sunshine Peak in Lake City still stands above the threshold at 14,004.5 feet. Under the new measurements, other mountains also shifted spots in the elevation rankings.

  • Pikes Peak is two feet shorter at 14,107 feet, per NOAA.

The intrigue: The "Mile High" marker needs to move up two more steps at the Capitol to accurately designate 5,280 feet above sea level. This is the fourth time it's been moved upward since 1909.

  • Welcome signs listing elevations will need an adjustment in some towns, too.

What they did: NOAA used more accurate GPS measurements that better take into account how gravity and the curvature of the Earth dictate "actual" sea level, as reported in the "Journal of Geodesy."

  • The previous measurements were deemed correct to within a couple feet, but the new ones are 20 times more accurate to within a couple inches.
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