Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks, or “14ers,” have been recalculated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) following a 15-year research project. While all 58 of Colorado’s 14ers remain above 14,000 feet, their rankings have changed. NOAA’s Derek Van Westrom led the recalibration as part of overhauling the National Spatial Reference System. Colorado, with its rugged terrain and extensive high-altitude land, was ideal for testing the new system.

The project revealed that Sunshine Peakis actually 14,005 feet tall. The recalibration, which included measuring gravity across the U.S. and using sophisticated GPS, allows for height calculations to within a few inches nationwide. This new system has broad implications beyond Colorado, setting a new zero for sea level and height measurements across the country. The recalibration’s success confirms the accuracy and utility of the new measurement system.

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