Over 27 years ago, Mihai Codrescu was sent by the Autoexport plant in Brasov (Central Romania) in a business trip. From Hungary, he went to Austria and from there to Germany, declaring himself a refugee. A year after, he went to the US and got a waiting job. Today, Codrescu works as a physician with the Space Weather Prediction centre, where predictions on the space weather are made. Codrescu talked about the solar storms, about what the Sun tells us right now and he shared his opinions on global warming in an interview for HotNews.ro with Adrian Novac.
- In September 1982, Mihail Codrescu was sent by his employer, Autoexport from Brasov, in Czechoslovakia for business. Using his work passport, which was stamped with visas for all countries, he went to Budapest (Hungary), then passed in Austria and then went to Germany, where he took on the refugee status. Here he received a six months residing pass, which he renewed afterwards for another semester. Because of his passport, he could not get the right to work or financial support. Friends of Romanian origin helped him.
- The US, Canada and Australia seemed the best places to emigrate. In September 1983 he ended up in New York. But the chances to find an engineer role seemed batter in Boston, so he moved again, where he started working as a waiter. Codrescu enrolled with Boston University in 1985, where he was tested for about a year and got sent to do an MA, despite the fact that he already had an MA diploma from previous studies in Romania. After graduating his MA, he received a PhD grant, which he completed by 1990. He worked first in London, and then he returned to the US to accept a role at the University from Colorado, where he stayed until 2005 for "soft money".
- In 2005, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) advertised a vacancy and he got the job. He works in a group of 12 researchers from nine countries, including the US. The centre is part of the National Weather Service. He works in the Space Weather Prediction Service (SWPC) predicting the space weather. The forecasts are used by companies working with positioning based on GPS, radio communications, high latitudes electrical energy distribution, irradiation danger for air travellers and astronauts.
- The company offers free information. Their web address is most visited when solar storms take place. The space conditions can result into significant GPS positioning errors, can make radio communications impossible can cut electricity distributions for large areas, can irradiate air travellers, astronauts and military pilots. The WAAS system, a GPS-based positioning system used by aircrafts, can stop working and it happened several times in the US in October 2003 because of solar storms.
- Currently, the Sun's activity is reduced to minimum and its restart has been delayed for several months. The biggest solar storm is considered to be the one which took place in September 2 1859. A similar storm today could cause damages worth of many billions of dollars, more damages than a hurricane can cause. Mihail is convinced that if such a storm is not taking place in five years, then it will definitely occur in 15-16 years.
- Talking about global warming, Mihail Codrescu opinionated, without being an expert in the area, that we are experiencing a global warming, despite the fact that there is evidence from the recent past years according to which the phenomenon has ceased. The freezing level on high altitude mountains in warm regions continues to spread. The ice on the poles is melting. High latitudes maritime passages can now be sailed.
- Codrescu is not sure on the causes of the global warming but he suspects one must be the human activity. It is also possible to be the fault of one component with long-term effects cause by the sun. He does not exclude the fact that the sun's reduced activity from the last five years could compensate for or even cancel the effects of the global warming. Should this be true, the global warming will accentuate once the sun restarts its activity.