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.

Scientists Throw Cold Water On Claims Linking Hurricane Florence To Global Warming

by M. Bastasch, September 19, 2018 in ClimateChangeDispatch

Hurricane Florence made landfall on Friday in North Carolina, bringing heavy rains and flooding. But before the storm touched down in the U.S., scientists and news outlets were already linking the storm to global warming.

However, not all scientists agree that man-made warming is making hurricanes, including Florence, bigger, slower and wetter as is often claimed in the media.

Climatologist Judith Curry called efforts by the “mainstream climate community” to link Florence to man-made global warming “woefully inadequate and misleading to scientists, the public and policymakers.”

Climategate continues: Release of University of Arizona Climate Emails Imminent

by Anthony Watts, September 19, 2018 in WUWT

Nearly seven years ago, on December 7th, 2011, the Free Market Environmental Law Clinic’s (FME Law) sought public records from the University of Arizona related to the Mann-Bradley-Hughes temperature reconstruction that looks like a hockey stick, and development of an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report.  They refused much of the request and FME Law sued.  Now (on September 18th, 2018) legal counsel for the University informed FME Law that they were done, that they would be withdrawing their appeal of the trial court’s decision, end the case and disclose the records.

Included in the release will be emails that, for example, provide the full context of the discussions between Michael Mann and colleagues and Chick Keller on whether there was a medieval warm period and a little ice age.  Mann, Bradley and Hughes (MBH) were the authors of the “hockey stick” graph that became the icon of climate alarmism.  Dr. Keller was, at the time, Director of the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics at the Los Alamos National Lab and affiliated with the University of California at San Diego, and wanted to reconcile data which appeared to refute the MBH papers.  Also within this collection will be the full discussion on events surrounding an effort to remove editors of journals willing to publish peer-reviewed papers that contradicted the MBH and related papers on which climate alarmism was built.  This collection of emails is particularly important in that they will provide the full context of Climategate emails that have been described as “cherry picking.”

New Study: German Mid-Sized E-Cars Produce Less CO2 Than Diesel Autos…After 364,000 Miles!

by P. Gosselin, September 19, 2018 in ClimateChangeDispatch

The German ADAC association, the equivalent of America’s AAA, carried a CO2 comparison for a variety e-autos and combustion engine cars. The results were very surprising, says German magazine Autobild here.

Today’s electric cars are being pushed as a clean and environmentally friendly alternative, while diesel and gasoline burning engines are being villainized as polluters and climate killer …


by Jo Moreau, 20 septembre 2018, in Belgotopia

Les côtes de Flandre n’ont pas toujours été aussi paisibles qu’aujourd’hui, et je n’oublie pas le raz-de-marée du 31 janvier 1953 qui toucha les Pays-Bas et notre littoral, faisant plus de 1800 morts et des dégâts considérables. (photo : à Ostende).

Pêchés dans diverses chroniques et ouvrages (notamment “La Flandre mystérieuse” de Saint Hilaire), j’en ai fait une compilation qui n’a bien entendu aucune prétention scientifique ou historique, mais ces événements avaient laissé une trace dans la mémoire populaire, trace qui a hélas fortement tendance à s’effacer.

J’y ajoute quelques événements survenus en France et aux Pays-Bas, dont on peut raisonnablement penser au vu de leur localisation, qu’ils eurent des conséquences sur nos côtes

How constant is the “solar constant?”

by Andy May, September 19, 2018 in WUWT

The IPCC lowered their estimate of the impact of solar variability on the Earth’s climate from the already low value of 0.12 W/m2 (Watts per square-meter) given in their fourth report (AR4), to a still lower value of 0.05 W/m2 in the 2013 fifth report (AR5), the new value is illustrated in Figure 1. These are long term values, estimated for the 261-year period 1750-2011 and they apply to the “baseline” of the Schwabe ~11-year solar (or sunspot) cycle, which we will simply call the “solar cycle” in this post. The baseline of the solar cycle is the issue since the peaks are known to vary. The Sun’s output (total solar irradiance or “TSI”) is known to vary at all time scales (Kopp 2016), the question is by how much. The magnitude of short-term changes, less than 11 years, in solar output are known relatively accurately, to better than ±0.1 W/m2. But, the magnitude of solar variability over longer periods of time is poorly understood. Yet, small changes in solar output over long periods of time can affect the Earth’s climate in significant ways (Eddy 1976) and (Eddy 2009).

Statistical study of past temperature records suggest possible undetected natural climate forcing cycles

by Anthony Watts, September 18, 2018 in WUWT

Godfrey Dack writes in with this:

Everyone will be familiar with the difficulty of listening to a conversation held with a friend in a crowded room with many other conversations going on at the same time. So it is with many fields of scientific investigation where it is difficult to tease a particular trend out from masses of data. In the first case, we could call the friend’s conversation ‘The Signal’, and the background conversations ‘The Noise’.

In looking at climate data, trends (the signal) can be graphically represented by a (generally) smooth curve, usually flanked by a range of experimentally predicted or actually measured values (the noise). Joining up every point on a graph of such data would give a jagged line which could be thought of as a combination of many alternating functions over a wide range of frequencies.

“What Will Persuade Conservatives To Fight Climate Change?” The same things that would persuade us to fight plate tectonics, entropy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics!

by David Middleton, September 17, 2019 in WUWT

Yes… I know entropy falls under the Second Law of Thermodynamics… But I doubt the author of the Clean Technica article does. [Author’s note: By “falls under the Second Law of Thermodynamics, I don’t mean decreases; I mean it falls under the “jurisdiction” of the Second Law of Thermodynamics.]

Guest ridicule by David Middleton

Among today’s Real Clear Energy headlines, almost totally unrelated to energy: What Will Persuade Conservatives To Fight Climate Change?

Renouvelables : le déclin des investissements

by Rémy Prud’homme, 16 septembre 2018, in Contrepoints

Michael Bloomberg est un milliardaire américain (pas un petit : l’une des vingt plus grosses fortunes mondiales), membre du parti démocrate, ancien maire de New York. C’est naturellement un farouche défenseur de l’environnement, ce qui lui a valu d’être nommé par le Secrétaire Général des Nations-Unies « envoyé spécial pour l’action climatique ». On ne peut pas le soupçonner de minorer le développement des énergies propres.


Le rapport1 que publie l’entreprise qu’il dirige (en fait une filiale consacrée aux énergies nouvelles) montre que les investissements dans « l’énergie propre », définie comme l’éolien et le photovoltaïque, ont diminué dans la plupart des pays du globe au cours des années 2010. Le point haut a été atteint en 2011. Depuis cette date, les investissements stagnent ou diminuent, à des taux divers selon les pays et les années.

La COP21, en 2015, devait sauver le monde grâce à des investissements massifs dans ces domaines. Elle n’a rien fait de tel. Au contraire, les années 2016, 2017 et 2018 sont marquées par une accélération de la baisse des investissements.

Negative climate feedback: more ships in the Arctic mean more cooling

by Anthony Watts, September 17, 2018 in WUWT

This article claim ships will “be able to sail right over the North Pole” by 2050 due to warming, but at the same time say ship tracks will make more clouds and cool the Arctic. Of course, anything is possible with the help of climate models.

More ships and more clouds mean cooling in the Arctic

With sea ice in the Arctic melting at an alarming rate, opportunities for trans-Arctic shipping are opening up, and by mid-century ships will be able to sail right over the North Pole – something not previously possible for humankind.

Evolutions récentes du CO2 atmosphérique

by J.C. Maurin, 16 septembre 2018, in Science,Climate,Energie

Dans les années 80, la découverte dans les archives glaciaires d’une corrélation entre température et taux de CO2 permit de soupçonner une influence anthropique sur le climat: les taux mesurés depuis 1958 étaient supérieurs aux taux des archives glaciaires.
L’IPPC (GIEC) fut créé en 1988 par 2 organismes: United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) et  World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Le GIEC attribue l’intégralité de la hausse du taux de CO2 depuis un siècle à l’influence humaine.  Pour les dernières décennies, nous examinerons ici les mesures disponibles, les corrélations CO2 / température, enfin le modèle anthropique GIEC sera confronté à un modèle concurrent.

Hurricane Florence is not climate change or global warming. It’s just the weather.

by Roy W. Spencer, September 15, 2018 in USAToday

Even before Hurricane Florence made landfall somewhere near the border of North and South Carolina, predicted damage from potentially catastrophic flooding from the storm was already being blamed on global warming.

Writing for NBC News, Kristina Dahl contended, “With each new storm, we are forced to question whether this is our new, climate change-fueled reality, and to ask ourselves what we can do to minimize the toll from supercharged storms.”

The theory is that tropical cyclones have slowed down in their speed by about 10 percent over the past 70 years due to a retreat of the jet stream farther north, depriving storms of steering currents and making them stall and keep raining in one location. This is what happened with Hurricane Harvey in Houston last year.

But like most claims regarding global warming, the real effect is small, probably temporary, and most likely due to natural weather patterns …

Beyond Milankovitch

by Donald Rapp, September 8, 218 in Climate Etc.

On the terminations of Ice Ages.

Terminations occur on solar up-lobes

There is no doubt that there is merit in the widely accepted Milankovitch theory that Ice Ages and their terminations are controlled by solar input to the NH in mid-summer. It is also clear that relying on the solar input to the NH alone, does not adequately account for the occurrence of terminations of Ice Ages. The variation of solar input to high latitudes is modulated by precession, which produces continual up-lobes and down-lobes in solar input with a ~ 22,000-year period. While every termination is accompanied by the 5,500-year rising portion of an up-lobe in the solar input to high latitudes, many strong up-lobes do not produce a termination….