Tous les articles par Alain Préat

Full-time professor at the Free University of Brussels, Belgium apreat@gmail.com apreat@ulb.ac.be • 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). http://www.academieroyale.be/cgi?usr=2a8crwkksq&lg=fr&pag=858&rec=0&frm=0&par=aybabtu&id=4471&flux=8365323 • 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 http://geolfrance.brgm.fr • Since 2014 : Regular author of texts for ‘la Revue Science et Pseudosciences’ http://www.pseudo-sciences.org/ • 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.

#CampFire #WoolseyFire Blaming climate – ignoring incompetence

by Paul Driessen, November 18, 2018 in WUWT


Foreword:

Over 8,000 homes and businesses have been reduced to ashes and rubble by the latest California conflagrations. Well over 60 people have perished, over 50,000 are homeless, hundreds remain missing. “This is the new abnormal,” Governor Jerry Brown insists. “Dryness, warmth, drought, all those things are going to intensify,” because of climate change. Even if we do more on forest management, that won’t stop climate change. “And those who deny that are definitely contributing to the tragedies.”

Those assertions have no basis in fact. The hard, incontrovertible reality is that California has always been a largely arid state, afflicted by prolonged droughts, interspersed with periods of intense rainfall, and buffeted almost every autumn by strong winds that can whip forest fires into infernos. The problem isn’t climate change. It’s ideological, even criminally incompetent forest management practices demanded by politicians, regulators, judges and environmentalists in recent decades. My article presents the real story.

The Picasso Problem

by Willis Eschenbach, November 17, 2018 in WUWT


Let me start explaining the link from Picasso to climate science by looking at what Dr. Nir Shaviv called “the most boring graph I have ever plotted in my life”.

This is the graph of the changes in the best estimate of the range of what is called “climate sensitivity” over the last forty years or so.

What is climate sensitivity when it’s at home? To explain that, I’ll have to take a slight detour. First, downwelling radiation.

“Downwelling” in climate science means headed down towards the planetary surface. Downwelling radiation is the total radiation going downwards towards the surface. It is composed of sunshine (shortwave) plus thermal radiation from the atmosphere (longwave). In climate science, this quantity, total downwelling radiation, is called “forcing”, abbreviated “F”

The central paradigm of modern climate science is that if you change the amount of downwelling radiation (forcing), that the surface temperature perforce will change. The claim is that everything else averages out, and if the forcing increases, then surface temperature needs to change to maintain the global energy balance. It has to change. It must.

In short, the central paradigm of modern climate science is the following:

In the long run, global temperature change is proportional to global forcing change.

The putatively constant proportion between the two, which is the temperature change divided by forcing change, is called the “climate sensitivity”.

See also here

Climate, life and the movement of continents: New connections

by University of Texas at Austin, November 15, 2018 in ScienceDaily


A new study by The University of Texas at Austin has demonstrated a possible link between life on Earth and the movement of continents. The findings show that sediment, which is often composed of pieces of dead organisms, could play a key role in determining the speed of continental drift. In addition to challenging existing ideas about how plates interact, the findings are important because they describe potential feedback mechanisms between tectonic movement, climate and life on Earth.

The study, published Nov. 15 in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, describes how sediment moving under or subducting beneath tectonic plates could regulate the movement of the plates and may even play a role in the rapid rise of mountain ranges and growth of continental crust


 

Scientists” Determine That the Worst Year in Human History Was… 536 AD.

by David Middleton, November 17, 2018 in WUWT


Why 536 was ‘the worst year to be alive’

By Ann Gibbons Nov. 15, 2018

 

Ask medieval historian Michael McCormick what year was the worst to be alive, and he’s got an answer: “536.” Not 1349, when the Black Death wiped out half of Europe. Not 1918, when the flu killed 50 million to 100 million people, mostly young adults. But 536. In Europe, “It was the beginning of one of the worst periods to be alive, if not the worst year,” says McCormick, a historian and archaeologist who chairs the Harvard University Initiative for the Science of the Human Past.

A mysterious fog plunged Europe, the Middle East, and parts of Asia into darkness, day and night—for 18 months. “For the sun gave forth its light without brightness, like the moon, during the whole year,” wrote Byzantine historian Procopius. Temperatures in the summer of 536 fell 1.5°C to 2.5°C, initiating the coldest decade in the past 2300 years. Snow fell that summer in China; crops failed; people starved. The Irish chronicles record “a failure of bread from the years 536–539.” Then, in 541, bubonic plague struck the Roman port of Pelusium, in Egypt. What came to be called the Plague of Justinian spread rapidly, wiping out one-third to one-half of the population of the eastern Roman Empire and hastening its collapse, McCormick says.

Coral Adaptation and Epigenetics

by Rud Itsvan, November 17, 2018 in WUWT


WUWT has posted several excellent articles by Jim Steele on how global warming alarmism uses corals as the poster child for warming and acidifying oceans, none of which is scientifically justified. A brief review follows, calling attention to a recently discovered additional adaptation mechanism not covered AFAIK by Jim Steele’s posts. The motivation for this post was triggered by a recent lunch with newish neighbor Charles the Moderator (CtM), and his sharing many wonderful underwater photographs of the coral reef he now dives frequently off Pompano Beach (same reef system as off Fort Lauderdale, just a few miles further north and more conveniently onshore).

India’s Emissions Set To Double, As Coal Continues To Dominate

by P. Homewood, November 17, 2018 in NotalotofPeopleKnowThat


It’s worth taking a closer look at the claim made last week that India is leading the world in tackling climate change.

The claim was based on India’s latest National Electricity Plan (NEP), which was published in April 2018. Below is the current situation for installed capacity, according to the NEP:

L’astuce de la NOAA pour « réchauffer » la planète

by Les Blogs, 17 novembre 2018


D’abord cette info surprenante. Une étude récente sur le réchauffement des océans a dû être modifiée après publication dans Nature. L’étude, très alarmiste, avait pourtant été révisée puis validée par un comité de lecture et publiée dans la plus prestigieuse revue scientifique au monde. Or la méthodologie et les conclusions  de cette recherche étaient erronées.

La faille a été découverte par Nic Lewis, un chercheur climato-critique très populaire en Grande-Bretagne. Il affirme, et les faits lui donnent raison: « Je suis légèrement surpris que ni les pairs examinateurs ni le rédacteur en chef n’aient repéré ce qui me semblait être une alarme rouge à la page 1. »

Mapped: The world’s coal power plants

by CarbonBrief, June 5, 2018


Since 2000, the world has doubled its coal-fired power capacity to 2,000 gigawatts (GW) after explosive growth in China and India. Another 200GW is being built and 450GW is planned.

More recently, 200GW has closed due to a wave of retirements across the EU and US. Another 170GW is set to retire by 2030 and 13 of the world’s 77 coal-powered countries plan a total phaseout.

Meanwhile, electricity generated from coal peaked in 2014, so the expanding fleet is running fewer hours than ever. This erodes coal’s bottom line, as does competition from gas and renewables.

The way coal’s next chapter unfolds is key to tackling climate change. All unabated coal must close within a few decades if warming is to be limited to less than 2C above pre-industrial temperatures, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

To shed light on this story, Carbon Brief has mapped the past, present and future of all the world’s coal-fired power stations. The interactive timeline map, above, shows the plants operating in each year between 2000 and 2017, as well as the location of planned new capacity.

Using data from CoalSwarm’s Global Coal Plant Tracker, it features around 10,000 retired, operating and planned coal units, totalling nearly 3,000 gigawatts (GW) across 95 countries.

October 2018 Global Surface (Land+Ocean) and Lower Troposphere Temperature Anomaly Update Bob Tisdale

by Bob Tisdale, November 15, 2018 in WUWT


As you’ll soon see, there was an eye-catching uptick (+0.25 deg C) in the GISS global Land-Ocean Temperature Index (LOTI) data from September to October 2018. We’ll have to wait for next month’s update to see if it also appears in the NOAA and Met Office datasets.

Figure 8

There are numerous things to note in the trend comparison. First, there is a growing divergence between models and data starting in the early 2000s. The continued rise in the model trends indicates global surface warming is supposed to be accelerating, but the data indicate little to no acceleration since then. Second, the plateau in the data warming rates begins in the early 1990s, indicating that there has been very little acceleration of global warming for more than 2 decades. This suggests that there MAY BE a maximum rate at which surface temperatures can warm. Third, note that the observed 30-year trend ending in the mid-1940s is comparable to the recent 30-year trends. (That, of course, is a function of the new NOAA ERSST.v5 data used by GISS.) Fourth, yet that high 30-year warming ending about 1945 occurred without being caused by the forcings that drive the climate models. That is, the climate models indicate that global surface temperatures should have warmed at about a third that fast if global surface temperatures were dictated by the forcings used to drive the models. In other words, if the models can’t explain the observed 30-year warming ending around 1945, then the warming must have occurred naturally. And that, in turns, generates the question: how much of the current warming occurred naturally? Fifth, the agreement between model and data trends for the 30-year periods ending in the 1960s to about 2000 suggests the models were tuned to that period or at least part of it. Sixth, going back further in time, the models can’t explain the cooling seen during the 30-year periods before the 1920s, which is why they fail to properly simulate the warming in the early 20thCentury.

One last note, the monumental difference in modeled and observed warming rates at about 1945 confirms my earlier statement that the models can’t simulate the warming that occurred during the early warming period of the 20th Century.

Climate Alarmism Dies In 2018 As Modern Ice Melt, Sea Level Rise Has No Net Impact On World’s Coasts

by Kenneth Richard, November 15, 2018 in NoTricksZone


The year 2018 could mark the beginning of the end of climate change alarmist reporting.  Projections of catastrophic melting of the ice sheets and sea level rise swallowing up the Earth’s coasts are increasingly undermined by observation.

Despite the hackneyed practice of reporting “staggering” ice sheet melt for both Greenland and Antarctica in recent decades, the two polar ice sheets combined to add just 1.5 centimeters to sea level rise between 1958 and 2014 (graphfrom Frederikse et al., 2018) as global sea levels only rose by “1.5 ± 0.2 mm yr−1 over 1958–2014 (1σ)” or “1.3 ± 0.1 mm yr−1 for the sum of contributors”.

That’s about 7.8 centimeters (3.1 inches) of global sea level change in 56 years.

MATH ERROR: Scientists Admit ‘Mistakes’ Led To Alarming Results In Major Global Warming Study

by M. Bastasch, November 14, 2018 in WUWT/DailyCaller


  • Scientists behind a headline-grabbing climate study admitted they “really muffed” their paper.

  • Their study claimed to find 60 percent more warming in the oceans, but that was based on math errors.

  • The errors were initially spotted by scientist Nic Lewis, who called them “serious (but surely inadvertent) errors.”

The scientists behind a headline-grabbing global warming study did something that seems all too rare these days — they admitted to making mistakes and thanked the researcher, a global warming skeptic, who pointed them out.

“When we were confronted with his insight it became immediately clear there was an issue there,” study co-author Ralph Keeling told The San Diego Union-Tribune on Tuesday.

Their study, published in October, used a new method of measuring ocean heat uptake and found the oceans had absorbed 60 more heat than previously thought. Many news outlets relayed the findings, but independent scientist Nic Lewis quickly found problems with the study.

Keeling, a scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, owned up to the mistake and thanked Lewis for finding it. Keeling and his co-authors submitted a correction to the journal Nature. (RELATED: Headline-Grabbing Global Warming Study Suffers From A Major Math Error)

Calculating global temperature anomaly

by Nick Stokes, November 14, 2018 in WUWT


There is much criticism here of the estimates of global surface temperature anomaly provided by the majors – GISS, NOAA and HADCRUT. I try to answer these specifically, but also point out that the source data is readily available, and it is not too difficult to do your own calculation. I point out that I do this monthly, and have done for about eight years. My latest, for October, is here (it got warmer).

Last time CharlesTM was kind enough to suggest that I submit a post, I described how Australian data made its way, visible at all stages, from the 30-minute readings (reported with about 5 min delay) to the collection point as a CLIMAT form, from where it goes unchanged into GHCN unadjusted (qcu). You can see the world’s CLIMAT forms here; countries vary as to how they report the intermediate steps, but almost all the data comes from AWS, and is reported at the time soon after recording. So GHCN unadjusted, which is one of the data sources I use, can be verified. The other, ERSST v5, is not so easy, but there is a lot of its provenance available.

My calculation is based on GHCN unadjusted. That isn’t because I think the adjustments are unjustified, but rather because I find adjustment makes little difference, and I think it is useful to show that.

I’ll describe the methods and results, but firstly I should address that much-argued question of why use anomalies.

Shale Reservoirs, do they work, will they spread?

by Andy May, November 13, 2018 in WUWT


Popular accounts of shale oil and gas reservoirs are often riddled with errors and, even when technically correct, often misleading. As a shale petrophysicist, retired from Devon Energy, I thought I would try and explain, in a non-technical way, how these reservoirs work and why they have been so successful.

Figure 1. Major shale oil and gas plays in the United States. Source EIA.