Tous les articles par Alain Préat

Full-time professor at the Free University of Brussels, Belgium • Department of Earth Sciences and Environment Res. Grp. - Biogeochemistry & Modeling of the Earth System Sedimentology & Basin Analysis • Alumnus, Collège des Alumni, Académie Royale de Sciences, des Lettres et des Beaux Arts de Belgique (mars 2013). • Prof. Invited, Université de Mons-Hainaut (2010-present-day) • Prof. Coordinator and invited to the Royal Academy of Sciences of Belgium (Belgian College) (2009- present day) • Prof. partim to the DEA (third cycle) led by the University of Lille (9 universities from 1999 to 2004) - Prof. partim at the University of Paris-Sud/Orsay, European-Socrates Agreement (1995-1998) • Prof. partim at the University of Louvain, Convention ULB-UCL (1993-2000) • Since 2015 : Member of Comité éditorial de la Revue Géologie de la France • Since 2014 : Regular author of texts for ‘la Revue Science et Pseudosciences’ • Many field works (several weeks to 2 months) (Meso- and Paleozoic carbonates, Paleo- to Neoproterozoic carbonates) in Europe, USA (Nevada), Papouasia (Holocene), North Africa (Algeria, Morrocco, Tunisia), West Africa (Gabon, DRC, Congo-Brazzaville, South Africa, Angola), Iraq... Recently : field works (3 to 5 weeks) Congo- Brazzaville 2012, 2015, 2016 (carbonate Neoproterozoic). Degree in geological sciences at the Free University of Brussels (ULB) in 1974, I went to Algeria for two years teaching mining geology at the University of Constantine. Back in Belgium I worked for two years as an expert for the EEC (European Commission), first on the prospecting of Pb and Zn in carbonate environments, then the uranium exploration in Belgium. Then Assistant at ULB, Department of Geology I got the degree of Doctor of Sciences (Geology) in 1985. My thesis, devoted to the study of the Devonian carbonate sedimentology of northern France and southern Belgium, comprised a significant portion of field work whose interpretation and synthesis conducted to the establishment of model of carbonate platforms and ramps with reefal constructions. I then worked for Petrofina SA and shared a little more than two years in Angola as Director of the Research Laboratory of this oil company. The lab included 22 people (micropaleontology, sedimentology, petrophysics). My main activity was to interpret facies reservoirs from drillings in the Cretaceous, sometimes in the Tertiary. I carried out many studies for oil companies operating in this country. I returned to the ULB in 1988 as First Assistant and was appointed Professor in 1990. I carried out various missions for mining companies in Belgium and oil companies abroad and continued research, particularly through projects of the Scientific Research National Funds (FNRS). My research still concerns sedimentology, geochemistry and diagenesis of carbonate rocks which leads me to travel many countries in Europe or outside Europe, North Africa, Papua New Guinea and the USA, to conduct field missions. Since the late 90's, I expanded my field of research in addressing the problem of mass extinctions of organisms from the Upper Devonian series across Euramerica (from North America to Poland) and I also specialized in microbiological and geochemical analyses of ancient carbonate series developing a sustained collaboration with biologists of my university. We are at the origin of a paleoecological model based on the presence of iron-bacterial microfossils, which led me to travel many countries in Europe and North Africa. This model accounts for the red pigmentation of many marble and ornamental stones used in the world. This research also has implications on the emergence of Life from the earliest stages of formation of Earth, as well as in the field of exobiology or extraterrestrial life ... More recently I invested in the study from the Precambrian series of Gabon and Congo. These works with colleagues from BRGM (Orléans) are as much about the academic side (consequences of the appearance of oxygen in the Paleoproterozoic and study of Neoproterozoic glaciations) that the potential applications in reservoir rocks and source rocks of oil (in collaboration with oil companies). Finally I recently established a close collaboration with the Royal Institute of Natural Sciences of Belgium to study the susceptibility magnetic signal from various European Paleozoic series. All these works allowed me to gain a thorough understanding of carbonate rocks (petrology, micropaleontology, geobiology, geochemistry, sequence stratigraphy, diagenesis) as well in Precambrian (2.2 Ga and 0.6 Ga), Paleozoic (from Silurian to Carboniferous) and Mesozoic (Jurassic and Cretaceous) rocks. Recently (2010) I have established a collaboration with Iraqi Kurdistan as part of a government program to boost scientific research in this country. My research led me to publish about 180 papers in international and national journals and presented more than 170 conference papers. I am a holder of eight courses at the ULB (5 mandatory and 3 optional), excursions and field stages, I taught at the third cycle in several French universities and led or co-managed a score of 20 Doctoral (PhD) and Post-doctoral theses and has been the promotor of more than 50 Masters theses.

10 fallacies about Arctic sea ice & polar bear survival: teachers & parents take note

by S. Crockford, July 15, 2019, in WUWT/PolarBearScience

Summer sea ice loss is finally ramping up: first year is disappearing, as it has done every year since ice came to the Arctic millions of years ago. But critical misconceptions, fallacies, and disinformation abound regarding Arctic sea ice and polar bear survival. Ahead of Arctic Sea Ice Day (15 July), here are 10 fallacies that teachers and parents especially need to know about.

As always, please contact me if you would like to examine any of the references included in this post. These references are what make my efforts different from the activist organization Polar Bears International. PBI virtually never provide references within the content it provides, including material it presents as ‘educational’. Links to previous posts of mine that provide expanded explanations, images, and additional references are provided.

The cartoon above was done by Josh: you can drop off the price of a beer (or more) for his efforts here.



by J. Kauppinen and P. Malmi, July 13, 2019 in Physics.gen-ph

Abstract. In this paper we wil lprove that GCM-models used inI IPCC report AR5 fail to calculate the influences of the low cloud cover changes on the global temperature. That is why those models give a very small natural temperature change leaving a very large change for the contribution of the green house gases in the observed temperature. This is the reason why IPCC has to use a very large sensitivity to compensate a too small natural component. Further they have to leave out the strong negative feedback due to the clouds in order to magnify the sensitivity. In addition, this paper proves that the changes in the low cloud cover fraction practically control the global temperature.

1. Introduction

The climate sensitivity has an extremely large uncertainty in the scientific lit- erature. The smallest values estimated are very close to zero while the highest ones are even 9 degrees Celsius for a doubling of CO2. The majority of the papers are using theoretical general circulation models (GCM) for the estimation. These models give very big sensitivities with a very large uncertainty range. Typically sensitivity values are between 2–5 degrees. IPCC uses these papers to estimate the global temperature anomalies and the climate sensitivity. However, there are a lot of papers, where sensitivities lower than one degree are estimated without using GCM. The basic problem is still a missing experimental evidence of the cli- mate sensitivity. One of the authors (JK) worked as an expert reviewer of IPCC AR5 report. One of his comments concerned the missing experimental evidence for the very large sensitivity presented in the report [1]. As a response to the com- ment IPCC claims that an observational evidence exists for example in Technical Summary of the report. In this paper we will study the case carefully.

2. Low cloud cover controls practically the global temperature

Antarctica was warmer one thousand years ago — and life was OK

JoNova, July 11, 2019

Remember when polar amplification was the rage? So much for that theory

Antarctica is twice the size of the US or Australia. Buried 2 km deep under domes of snow, it holds 58 meters of global sea level to ransom. The IPCC have been predicting its demise-by-climate-change for a decade or two.

A new paper looks at 60 sites across Antarctica, considering everything from ice, lake and marine cores to peat and seal skins. They were particularly interested in the Medieval Warm Period, and researched back to 600AD.  During medieval times (1000-1200 AD) they estimate Antarctica as a whole was hotter than it is today.  Antarctica was even warmer still  — during the dark ages circa 700AD.

Credit to the paper authors: Sebastian Lüning, Mariusz Gałka, and Fritz Vahrenholt

Feast your eyes on the decidedly not unprecedented modern tiny spike:

The little jaggy down after 2000 AD is real. While there was rapid warming across Antarctica from 1950-2000, in the last twenty years, that warming has stalled. Just another 14 million square kilometers that the models didn’t predict.

We already knew the Medieval Warm Period was a global phenomenon, thanks to hundreds of proxies, and 6,000 boreholes. But this new paper is a great addition.

With an awesome dedication to detail, the team put all the big oceanic and other factors into one big graph. It is nice to see them side by side so we can see the connections between them.

Energy Dominance: US Crude Oil Production Tops 12 Million Barrels per Day in April!

by David Middleton, July 15, 2019 in WUWT

JULY 8, 2019
U.S. crude oil production surpassed 12 million barrels per day in April

U.S. crude oil production and lease condensate reached another milestone in April 2019, totaling 12.2 million barrels per day (b/d), according to EIA’s latest Petroleum Supply Monthly. April 2019 marks the first time that monthly U.S. crude oil production levels surpassed 12 million b/d, and this milestone comes less than a year after U.S. crude oil production surpassed 11 million b/d in August 2018.

Texas and the Federal Offshore Gulf of Mexico (GOM), the two largest crude oil production areas in the United States, both reached record levels of production in April at 4.97 million b/d and 1.98 million b/d, respectively. Oklahoma also reached a record production level of 617,000 b/d.

The U.S. onshore crude oil production increase is driven mainly by developing low permeability (tight) formations using horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. EIA estimates that crude oil production from tight formations in April 2019 reached 7.4 million b/d, or 61% of the U.S. total.

Study: Clouds, Solar Cycles Play Major Role In Climate Change

by  G. Lloyd, July 15, 2010 in ClimateChangeDispatch

Sand deposits near the Gobi Desert in China may seem a strange place to look for evidence that cosmic rays can control how clouds are formed and the impact they have on Earth’s climate.

But Japanese scientists have measured the size of sand grains and the distance they traveled 780,000 years ago to add a new level of understanding to one of the questions that continue to baffle climate science: clouds.

The findings, published in Nature, point to big trends in natural variation of past and future climate that operate apart from greenhouse gas levels.

The study adds weight to a contentious theory by Danish researcher Henrik Svensmark, of the Danish National Space Institute in Copenhagen, which uses cosmic rays and clouds to question the sensitivity of climate to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Red Sea Temperature Record Shows It Follows The AMO, Not CO2 … “Natural Climate Oscillations”

by P. Gosselin, July 7, 2019 in NoTricksZone

AMO cycle on the downward side: Red Sea to cool in the coming decades

By Die kalte Sonne
(German text translated by P Gosselin)

Seven years ago, in our book “The Forgotten Sun”, we proposed using ocean cycles for medium-term forecasts. At the time, the climate establishment was strictly opposed to this. Today fortunately times have changed.

On March 15, 2019, a team led by George Krokos analyzed the temperature development of the Red Sea in Geophysical Research Letters, which has become noticeably warmer in recent decades. The researchers put this into a long-term context and found a strong correlation with the 70-year ocean cycle of the AMO (Atlantic Multidecade Oscillation).

Now that AMO has reached its peak, Krokos and colleagues expect the Red Sea to cool in the next three decades.


Natural Climate Oscillations may Counteract Red Sea Warming Over the Coming Decades
Recent reports of warming trends in the Red Sea raise concerns about the response of the basin’s fragile ecosystem under an increasingly warming climate. Using a variety of available Sea Surface Temperature (SST) data sets, we investigate the evolution of Red Sea SST in relation to natural climate variability. Analysis of long‐term SST data sets reveals a sequence of alternating positive and negative trends, with similar amplitudes and a periodicity of nearly 70 years associated with the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation. High warming rates reported recently appear to be a combined effect of global warming and a positive phase of natural SST oscillations. Over the next decades, the SST trend in the Red Sea purely related to global warming is expected to be counteracted by the cooling Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation phase. Regardless of the current positive trends, projections incorporating long‐term natural oscillations suggest a possible decreasing effect on SST in the near future.

My new video – Climate Change Reconsidered II: Fossil Fuels

by Anthony Watts, July 14,2019 in WUWT

In the first part of a new video series, I give an outline of Chapter One of Climate Change Reconsidered II: Fossil Fuels, which covers environmental economics. I explain the role of economics in protecting the environment. In a nutshell, it’s this: economic prosperity gives humans the time to care about the environment. Otherwise it’s just a day-to-day battle for survival.

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Fossil Fuels assesses the costs and benefits of the use of fossil fuels (principally coal, oil, and natural gas) by reviewing scientific and economic literature on organic chemistry, climate science, public health, economic history, human security, and theoretical studies based on integrated assessment models (IAMs). It is the fifth volume in the Climate Change Reconsidered series and, like the preceding volumes, it focuses on research overlooked or ignored by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Additional background information about Climate Change Reconsidered II: Fossil Fuels is available at these links:

Message from the Coauthors (2-page PDF)
About the Coauthors (1-page PDF)
About NIPCC (1-page PDF)
Impact of Fossil Fuels on Human Health (full-color graphic, PDF)
Complete background package (5-page PDF)


Anchorage “Record” Was Not Actually A Record!

by P. Homewood, July 14, 2019 in NotaLotofPeopleKnowThat

The US state of Alaska, part of which lies inside the Arctic Circle, is sweltering under a heatwave, with record temperatures recorded in several areas, including its largest city.

Temperatures reached 90F (32C) in Anchorage on Thursday, shattering the city’s previous record of 85F.

The report clearly implied global warming as the cause, with several references to climate change links throughout the article.

As I pointed out at the time, the all-time record temperature for Alaska was set as long ago as 1915, when an incredible 100F was measured at Fort Yukon.

This story follows the usual BBC recipe for Arctic heatwaves:

  • Record temperatures = global warming
  • Hot weather is unprecedented in the Arctic. Most people would believe that temperatures of 90F simply never used to occur in the Arctic, it just sounds so unimaginable.

Unfortunately for the BBC, it turns out that the Anchorage temperature is not even a record!

I have now had time to check through the NOAA data files, and have discovered that back in June 1931, the temperature actually reached 92C at Anchorage:

Super salty, subzero Arctic water provides peek at possible life on other planets

by University of Washington, July 12, 2019 in ScienceDaily

On Earth, scientists are studying the most extreme environments to learn how life might exist under completely different settings, like on other planets. A University of Washington team has been studying the microbes found in “cryopegs,” trapped layers of sediment with water so salty that it remains liquid at below-freezing temperatures, which may be similar to environments on Mars or other planetary bodies farther from the sun.

At the recent AbSciCon meeting in Bellevue, Washington, researchers presented DNA sequencing and related results to show that brine samples from an Alaskan cryopeg isolated for tens of thousands of years contain thriving bacterial communities. The lifeforms are similar to those found in floating sea ice and in saltwater that flows from glaciers, but display some unique patterns.

“We study really old seawater trapped inside of permafrost for up to 50,000 years, to see how those bacterial communities have evolved over time,” said lead author Zachary Cooper, a UW doctoral student in oceanography.

China has slashed clean energy funding by 39%, leading a global decline

by From MIT Technology review, July 12, 2019 in WUWT

The big picture: The new report suggests last year’s slowdown in renewable-energy construction has extended into 2019, taking the world in exactly the wrong direction at a critical time (see “Global renewables growth has stalled—and that’s terrible news”). Every major report finds that the world needs to radically accelerate the shift to clean energy to have any hope of not blowing past dangerous warming thresholds (see “At this rate, it’s going to take 400 years to transform the energy system”).


by GWPF, July 12, 2019 in FinacialTimes

Investment in clean energy slipped to $117.6bn, a decline of 14 per cent compared with the same period last year, according to new research from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

A sudden change in China’s renewable energy policies last year — when it curbed solar and wind subsidies — has dramatically reduced the number of new projects in the world’s largest market.

Clean energy investment in China was down 39 per cent during the first half of this year, compared with the same period last year.

However, those figures could improve later this year, suggested Justin Wu, BNEF’s head of Asia-Pacific.

Source: BloombergNEF.

Rare fossil in a fossil reveals a dinosaur’s surprising last meal

by Michael Gresko, July 11, 2019 in NationalGeographic

The find—described today in the journal Current Biology—is the fourth Microraptor fossil to preserve stomach contents, but it’s the first to show that Microraptor ate lizards. Previous fossils captured it eating small mammals, fish, or birds. The specimen also reveals that, like some predatory birds today, Microraptor had a taste for swallowing lizards whole and head-first.

This fossil of the feathered dinosaur Microraptor also preserves the animal’s last meal: a lizard it seems to have swallowed whole and head first.


Land’s complex role in climate change

by  Pielke et al., 2016 in PhysicsToday

To date, most reporting on climate has focused on the possibility of catastrophic warming due to carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere. The assessment of climate change risk has essentially been distilled to a single metric: the global average surface temperature. That reality was evident at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, where the central negotiating point was whether the global temperature rise should be limited to 1.5 °C or 2 °C. Indeed, a 2016 opinion piece by Simon Lewis (University College London and the University of Leeds, UK) states that, “by endorsing a limit of 1.5 °C, the [Paris] climate negotiations have effectively defined what society considers dangerous.”

But the reality of humans’ impact on climate is exceedingly complex.2 Even if greenhouse gas emissions could be elimi- nated completely, other harmful anthropogenic sources of cli- mate change would remain. And even if global average tem- peratures were contained, human impacts on climate would manifest in other potentially dangerous ways.

One often overlooked human factor is land use. Deforestation, dry land farming, irrigated agriculture, overgrazing, and other alterations to the natural landscape can disrupt Earth’s natural balances and change weather patterns. As with the addition of CO2into the atmosphere, the effects can last for decades or longer and affect regions distant from the original offense. Given continued rapid population growth, they threaten to be irreversible.

Polar Bears Are Thriving Despite Global Warming: Here’s Why

by Susan J. Crockford, July 11, 2019 in ClimateChangeDispatch

This essay explains in simple terms why so many people still believe that polar bears are in peril when nothing could be further from the truth; it is an essential lesson that shatters the basis of the shameful indoctrination of young school children and undermines the baseless claims of activist protestors.

It was written and translated into French for a special climate change feature issue (July) of the monthly French magazine Valeurs Actuelles (reviewed here) and reprinted by the French hunting magazine Chasses Internationales.

It has also been translated into German for a dedicated climate change issue (11 July) of the Swiss weekly magazine Die Weltwoche.

I have added a couple of figures to illustrate this English version of the essay.

Celebrating America’s Environmental Stewardship

by Jim Steele, July 10, 209 in WUWT

What’s Natural?

Celebrating America’s Environmental Stewardship

I resent the one-sided mis-characterization of humanity as “destroyers of our environment”. Humans certainly had negative impacts on most ecosystems. However, in contrast to a recent United Nations report insinuating we are threatening one million species with extinction, humans have been working hard to restore nature and prevent further extinctions. Most endangered species are still staggering from disruptions initiated centuries ago. But now humans are correcting past mistakes.

Islands have been extinction hotspots. Sixty-one percent of all known extinctions have occurred on islands and 37% of today’s critically endangered species are found only on islands. The main driver of island extinctions has been purposeful or unintentional introductions of alien species. Introduced species are implicated in 81% of all island extinctions. With no natural predators, Island species did not evolve needed behaviors to avoid introduced rats, cats and stoats. Researchers now suggest eradication of rats and other introduced mammals could prevent the extinction of up to 75% of threatened island birds, reptiles and mammals.