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.

Le pétrole américain à l’assaut du marché

by L’essentiel, 18 mars 2018

Grâce à une production de pétrole en plein boom, les États-Unis exportent désormais sans complexe leur or noir dans le monde, entraînant une refonte des infrastructures sur leur territoire et rebattant les cartes sur le marché mondial. En pompant actuellement plus de 10 millions de barils par jour, le pays est devenu le deuxième producteur de brut au monde, derrière la Russie et devant l’Arabie saoudite. Un essor lié aux nouvelles techniques permettant d’extraire à moindre coût du pétrole de schiste

Climate scientist admits embarrassment over future climate uncertainty

by J. Cartwright, March 16, 2018 in A. Watts WUWT

WUWT readers may recall this chart which clearly illustrates just how uncertain climate science really is.

t seems that some climate academics are a bit embarrassed that they haven’t been able to pin down climate sensitivity. From EU Horizon Magazine

Climate sensitivity – reducing the uncertainty of uncertainty

by Jon Cartwright

A study published in January 2018 claims to halve the uncertainty around how much our planet’s temperature will change in response to rising carbon dioxide (CO2) levels, potentially giving governments more confidence to prepare for the future.

The Climate Dictionary

by Willis Eschenbach, March 16, 2018 in WUWT

Finally, we have the IPCC Likelihood Scale:

Virtually certain – “All my cool scientist friends agree”.

Very likely – “We really hope this is true”.

Likely – “Two climate models out of three agree”.

About as likely as not – “Nobody has a clue”.

Unlikely – “This outcome offends us”.

Very unlikely – “We really don’t want you going down that path”.

Exceptionally unlikely – “Stephen McIntyre said it first so it can’t possibly be true.”

New paper tries to disentangle global warming from natural ocean variations

by A. Watts, March 15, 2018 in WUWT

This paper deals with the central argument that skeptics bring up about claims of global warming: How do you separate the temperature signal from the base components like natural variation, human land-use influence, micro-site bias, measurement errors and biases, and other factors to get the “true” global warming signal?

The answer is that you can’t, at least not easily.

With the surface temperature record, it’s somewhat easier since  you can observe some of those elements directly and separate them (such as we’ve done in our surfacestations project for land-use microsite biases), but in the ocean, everything is homogenized by the ocean itself. All you can look for is patterns, and try to disentangle based on pattern recognition. That’s what they are trying to do here.

Disentangling Global Warming, Multidecadal Variability, and El Niño in Pacific Temperatures
Robert C. Wills, Tapio Schneider, John M. Wallace, David S. Battisti, Dennis L. Hartmann



MIT report: it will take 400 years to transform to ‘clean’ energy

by James Temple, March 15, 2018 in A. Watts, WUWT

Fifteen years ago, Ken Caldeira, a senior scientist at the Carnegie Institution, calculated that the world would need to add about a nuclear power plant’s worth of clean-energy capacity every day between 2000 and 2050 to avoid catastrophic climate change. Recently, he did a quick calculation to see how we’re doing.

Not well. Instead of the roughly 1,100 megawatts of carbon-free energy per day likely needed to prevent temperatures from rising more than 2 ˚C, as the 2003 Science paper by Caldeira and his colleagues found, we are adding around 151 megawatts. That’s only enough to power roughly 125,000 homes.

At that rate, substantially transforming the energy system would take, not the next three decades, but nearly the next four centuries. In the meantime, temperatures would soar, melting ice caps, sinking cities, and unleashing devastating heat waves around the globe (see “The year climate change began to spin out of control”).

NOAA Tamper With NY Temperatures Again

by P. Homewood, March 15, 2015 in NotaLotofPeopleKnowThat

According to the heavily adjusted NOAA data, last month was the fifth warmest February on record in the Central Lakes Division of NY State, with an average mean temperature of 31.4F.

Prior to 1981, the warmest was February 1954, which averaged 29.8F. In other words, NOAA claim that February 1954 was 1.6F colder than last month.

Which all looks very suspicious, because the opposite picture is shown at the high quality station of Ithaca Cornell University (…)

1988 Congressional climate change hearing: claims of accelerating sea level rise – failed

by Larry Hamlin, March 14, 2018 in WUWT

In June 23, 1988 the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources held a hearing addressing the Greenhouse Effect and Global Climate Change.

Among the presenters at this hearing was Dr. James Hansen, Director, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies who introduced his infamous and now debunked global surface temperature model results with future temperature projections under three different scenarios of CO2 emissions growth that grossly over exaggerated resulting projected global temperature increases.

An “Exceptionally large amount of winter snow in Northern Hemisphere this year

by A. Watts, March 14, 2018 in WUWT

From the Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past department and the Finnish Meteorological Institute comes this press release today.

Exceptionally large amount of winter snow in Northern Hemisphere this year

The new Arctic Now product developed by the Finnish Meteorological Institute shows with one picture the extent of the area in the Northern Hemisphere currently covered by ice and snow. This kind of information, which shows the accurate state of the Arctic, becomes increasingly important due to climate change. The Arctic region will be discussed at the Arctic Meteorological Week which begins in Levi next week.

Ice-Free Arctic Fantasies Melting Away As Temperatures Plummet…Sea Ice Mass Grows Impressively

by P. Gosselin, March 14, 2018 in NoTricksZone

German skeptic and weather expert ‘Schneefan’ here writes how climate activist Mark C. Serreze recently announced this year’s sea ice extent was at the smallest all-time area. But since then Arctic temperatures have plummeted and sea ice area has grown to over 14 million square kilometers (…)

How much snow accumulates in North America each year? More than scientists thought

by Ohio State University, March 13, 2018 in ScienceDaily

Scientists have revised an estimate of snow volume for the entire continent, and they’ve discovered that snow accumulation in a typical year is 50 percent higher than previously thought. Researchersplace the yearly estimate at about 1,200 cubic miles of snow. If spread evenly across the surface of the continent from Canada to Mexico, the snow would measure a little over 7.5 inches deep.

In the journal Geophysical Research Letters, researchers at The Ohio State University place the yearly estimate at about 1,200 cubic miles of snow accumulation. If spread evenly across the surface of the continent from Canada to Mexico, the snow would measure a little over 7.5 inches deep. If confined to Ohio, it would bury the state under 150 feet of snow.

Do-It-Yourself: The solar variability effect on climate.

by Javier, March 13, 2018 in WUWT

So, you still don’t believe small changes in solar activity can significantly affect climate? You know a very cold period during the Little Ice Age coincided with the Maunder Minimum, but you have heard that the Little Ice Age could have had other causes, like volcanoes. You have been told repeatedly that since 1980 solar activity has been decreasing while global temperature has been increasing, so it can’t be the Sun.

Not so fast. There is a vested interest in climate change not being due to the Sun, as the Sun can’t be taxed or prevented from doing what it does. A further problem is that solar physicists have no clue about how the Sun can show centennial or millennial periodicities. As they prefer to talk about what they know, they reject such periodicities, even though we have evidence in cosmogenic records (14C in tree rings and 10Be in ice cores).

And if I tell you that little changes in the Sun have a disproportionate effect on climate you won’t believe me. You shouldn’t believe me. You shouldn’t believe anybody. Science is not about believing. Religion is about believing. So, I propose that you prove to yourself what effect little changes in the Sun have on climate.

Germany Is a Coal-Burning, Gas-Guzzling Climate Change Hypocrite

by P. Hockenos, November 13, 2017 in FPNews

Yet Germany’s image as selfless defender of the climate, which was once largely deserved, is now a transparent fiction. Germany has fallen badly behind on its pledges to sink its own greenhouse gas pollutants. In fact, Germany’s carbon emissions haven’t declined for nearly a decade and the German Environment Agency calculated that Germany emitted 906 million tons of CO2 in 2016 — the highest in Europe — compared to 902 million in 2015. And 2017’s interim numbers suggest emissions are going to tick up again this year.

A conversation with Patrick Moore

by P. Moore,  March 13, 2018 in A. Watts, WUWT

Patrick Moore is a Canadian activist, and former president of Greenpeace Canada. Since leaving Greenpeace, which he helped to found, Moore has criticized the environmental movement for what he sees as scare tactics and disinformation, saying that the environmental movement “abandoned science and logic in favor of emotion and sensationalism.” He has sharply and publicly differed with many policies of major environmental groups, including Greenpeace itself on other issues including forestry, biotechnology, aquaculture, and the use of chemicals for many applications. (…)