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.

Is The Average Variation Of Clouds CO2?

by E.M. Smith, June 26, 2017

Until cloud and precipitation data are adequate AND accounted for properly AND the error bands are low enough to cover 1/10 degree increments, we can’t say there is ANY effect from CO2 on temperature. It is at most a conjecture, and not a very good one. You can not ignore the major driver of changes of temperatures (as shown in the above graph) and then attribute temperature changes to something else by supposition.


Should Scientists and the Media Exaggerate Global Warming?

by Cliff Mass, June 17, 2017

Should scientists and the media exaggerate the current and future impact of human-forced global warming to encourage people « to do the right thing »?

A number of scientists and media folks believe the answer is yes.

For me, the answer is an emphatic no, for reasons I will explain below.   Let’s consider some of the arguments for and against and you can decide for yourself


The ‘hiatus’ in global warming is the hottest topic in climate science right now, whether alarmists like it or not

by David Whitehouse,  Financial Post, June 22, 2017

Some are adamant that the “hiatus” does not and never has existed, and will never change their minds. But the evidence is irrefutable. As a large number of influential climate scientists have just said in the journal Nature Geoscience, since the turn of the century there has been a substantial slowdown in warming that computer climate models did not predict or can explain. In fact, such models predict a warming twice that observed.


Lowest Solar Activity In 200 Years Accompanied By High Northern Hemispheric Snow And Ice

by P. Gosselin from F. Bosse and F. Vahrenholt, June 18, 2017

In May the sun was very quiet as sunspot number was a mere 18.8, which is only 36% of what is typical for the month this far into the cycle. Seven days saw no sunspot activity at all.

The following chart shows the current cycle, Solar Cycle 24 (red), compared to the mean of the previous cycles (blue) and the similarly behaving SC 5 (black).

It’s clear that the current cycle is significantly weaker than the mean and far weaker than the cycles we saw throughout most of the warming 20th century.


A 500-Year Record of Sea Level from Goa, India

by N.-A. Mörner, June 2017, in J. Coastal Research

Fortunately, as revealed in a number of recent studies, proof of such an acceleration of sea level rise remains elusive (see the many reviews we have posted on this topic under the subheading of Sea Level here). The latest work to demonstrate that there is nothing unusual, unnatural or unprecedented about current rates of sea level rise comes from a paper written by sea level expert Nils-Axel Mörner (Mörner, 2017) and published in the Journal of Coastal Research.