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.

Antarctic temperatures recently plunged close to the theoretically coldest achievable on Earth! David Middleton

by David Middleton, November 13, 2018 in WUWT


This story was previously discussed here at WUWT… But, why wasn’t this headline news in the Washington Post, New York Times, etc.?  Yes… That was a rhetorical question.

Comparisons with nearby automated weather stations suggest that air temperatures during these events are near −94 ± 4 °C or about −138 F. Ultracold conditions (below −90 °C) occur more frequently when the Antarctic polar vortex is strong. This temperature appears to be about as low as it is possible to reach, even under clear skies and very dry conditions, because heat radiating from the cold clear air is nearly equal to the heat radiating from the bitterly cold snow surface.

Arctic sea ice: Simulation versus observation

by U.  of California – Santa Barbara, Nov 13, 2018 in ScienceDaily


As an indicator of the impacts of climate change, Arctic sea ice is hard to beat. Scientists have observed the frozen polar ocean advance and retreat at this most sensitive region of the Earth over decades for insight on the potential ripple effects on assorted natural systems: global ocean circulation, surrounding habitats and ecosystems, food sources, sea levels and more.

“We’re mostly interested in the period from the early 2000s to the present day, where we see such strong melting,” said graduate student Ian Baxter, who also works with Ding. It’s known, he added, that the effects of changes in the Arctic are no longer confined to the region and in fact spread to the mid-latitudes — often in the form of cold weather outbreaks. The group is interested in how effects in the tropics could spread beyond that region and affect the Arctic.

Paleoclimatological Context and Reference Level of the 2°C and 1.5°C Paris Agreement Long-Term Temperature Limits

by S. Lüning & F. Vahrenholt, December12, 2017 in FrontEarthSci


The Paris Agreement adopted in December 2015 during the COP21 conference stipulates that the increase in the global average temperature is to be kept well below 2°C above “pre-industrial levels” and that efforts are pursued to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above “pre-industrial levels.” In order to further increase public acceptance of these limits it is important to transparently place the target levels and their baselines in a paleoclimatic context of the past 150,000 years (Last Interglacial, LIG) and in particular of the last 10,000 years (Holocene; Present Interglacial, PIG). Intense paleoclimatological research of the past decade has firmed up that pre-industrial temperatures have been highly variable which needs to be reflected in the pre-industrial climate baseline definitions …

See also here

Forest Fires in the Golden State

by Willis Eschenbach, November 12, 2018 in WUWT


Our charmingly incompetent California Governor, Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown, has announced that all climate-change deniers are “definitely contributing” to the wildfires in the northern and southern parts of the state over the past few days, as well as blazes “in the coming years.” So look out, you dang “deniers”, it’s all your fault!

So … did scientists actually “predict” that past temperatures have gone up by one degree? Can scientists actually predict the past? And can we really expect half a degree of warming in the next decade? To get some perspective on these questions, I thought I’d take a look at the records. I found an interesting site, the Western Regional Climate Center (WRCC), which has a variety of weather-related data state by state. So with no further ado, here is the average temperature in California from January of 1895 to the present, October 2018.

Evolutions récentes du CO2 atmosphérique (3/4)

by J.C. Maurin, 12 novembre 2018 in ScienceClimatEnergie


L’IPCC (GIEC en français) fut créé en 1988 par l’UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) et le WMO (World Meteorological Organization). Dans les principes régissant les travaux du GIEC (1) on lit : Le GIEC a pour mission d’évaluer … les risques liés au changement climatique d’origine humaine.  Le GIEC respecte son propre principe fondateur : il attribue l’intégralité de la hausse du taux de CO2 depuis 1958 à une cause anthropique. Nous examinerons ici le modèle anthropique du GIEC et nous le confronterons aux mesures contemporaines, puis à un modèle mixte. Cet article fait suite aux deux précédents publiés sur le site SCE au cours des mois de septembre (1/4) et octobre 2018 (2/4).

C.   Modèle anthropique GIEC

C.1   Les contraintes des modèles (Fig. 1)

Le paragraphe A (article 1/4) a montré qu’en 1980 le taux de CO2 atmosphérique était de 338 ppm et le  δ13C de -7.6 ‰. En  2010 le taux de CO2  atmosphérique était de 388 ppm et le δ13C de -8.3 ‰. Il existe une modulation annuelle de ce taux, très marquée dans l’hémisphère Nord.

 

Interview exclusive: Henri Masson, Université d’Anvers, déclare les modèles du GIEC « aberration statistique »

by Henri Masson, 10 mars 2012, in Contrepoints


Des modèles, cela fait 40 ans que j’en fais », précise d’emblée Henri Masson. Ingénieur chimiste de formation (Université Libre de Bruxelles), docteur en sciences appliquées, professeur émérite à l’Université d’Anvers, expert globe-trotter (notamment pour la Banque Mondiale et l’ONU), l’homme est, de surcroît, doté d’un sérieux sens de la vulgarisation. Lorsque Contrepoints lui propose d’analyser les modèles prédictifs du GIEC, le Belge est catégorique : « Si mes étudiants me présentaient de tels modèles, je n’hésiterais pas à les recaler ! »

Contrepoints : Quelle confiance peut-on accorder aux modèles du GIEC, qui prévoient, parmi d’autres choses, un réchauffement planétaire dû aux émissions humaines de CO2 ?

Nunavut Draft Plan Says There Are Actually Too Many Polar Bears In Territory

by Bob Weber, November 12,  2018, updated, in HuffingtonPost


There are too many polar bears in parts of Nunavut and climate change hasn’t yet affected any of them, says a draft management plan from the territorial government that contradicts much of conventional scientific thinking.

The proposed plan — which is to go to public hearings in Iqaluit on Tuesday — says that growing bear numbers are increasingly jeopardizing public safety and it’s time Inuit knowledge drove management policy.

“Inuit believe there are now so many bears that public safety has become a major concern,” says the document, the result of four years of study and public consultation.

A male polar bear eats a piece of whale meat as it walks along the shore of Hudson Bay near Churchill, Man., on August 23, 2010. New research suggests an answer to the mystery of how polar bears survived previous eras of low sea ice. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
THE CANADIAN PRESS
A draft plan from the Nunavut government says growing bear numbers are increasingly jeopardizing public safety.

Proof that Corals are Adapting to Warming Temperatures

by Coles et al., November, 11,  2018 in CO2Science


In light of the above findings, Coles et al. state the obvious, that the corals “were able to withstand elevated temperatures (31.4 °C) for a longer period of time in the current 2017 experiment” compared to the 1970 study. Consequently, they conclude that their results “indicate a shift in the temperature threshold tolerance of these corals to a 31-day exposure to 31.4 °C,” which findings “provide the first evidence of coral acclimatization or adaptation to increasing ocean temperatures.” And that observational reality should hold great bearing on the status and health of coral reefs in response to future climate change. If temperatures rise in the future, clearly, as living organisms, corals can (and do!) adapt. Alarmist predictions of their fast and ensuing demise due to global warming should not be taken too seriously.

Evolutions récentes du CO2 atmosphérique (3/4)

by J.C. Maurin, 12 novembre 2018 in  ScienceClimatEnergie


L’IPCC (GIEC en français) fut créé en 1988 par l’UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) et le WMO (World Meteorological Organization). Dans les principes régissant les travaux du GIEC (1) on lit : Le GIEC a pour mission d’évaluer … les risques liés au changement climatique d’origine humaine.  Le GIEC respecte son propre principe fondateur : il attribue l’intégralité de la hausse du taux de CO2 depuis 1958 à une cause anthropique. Nous examinerons ici le modèle anthropique du GIEC et nous le confronterons aux mesures contemporaines, puis à un modèle mixte. Cet article fait suite aux deux précédents publiés sur le site SCE au cours des mois de septembre (1/4) et octobre 2018 (2/4).

C.4.  Conclusions

  • Un modèle qui décrit un monde fixe, en équilibre, un modèle où l’homme est central, un modèle qui parvient à reproduire certaines observations mais pas toutes, un modèle unanimement soutenu par les autorités politiques ou morales, enfin un modèle qui pose a priori un principe intangible… est le type même de modèle qui fut développé  par Ptolémée (6) pour le système solaire. Ce modèle fut jadis l’objet d’un consensus  à  > 97%.

  • L’atmosphère actuelle comporte environ 20 ppm de CO2 anthropique correspondant à 20/400 soit 5% du CO2 atmosphérique. En un siècle les hommes ont donc modifié la composition de l’atmosphère de 20 ppm soit 0,002% : sur ce sujet également, il semble que nous ne soyons pas au centre du monde.

  • Les évolutions récentes du CO2 atmosphérique ne peuvent pas avoir une cause uniquement anthropique: les observations du δ13C l’interdisent. Les causes sont anthropiques et naturelles. Le modèle purement anthropique du GIEC est donc à rejeter.

Holocene temperature in the Iberian Peninsula reconstructed studying insect subfossils

by University of Barcelona, November 9, 2018 in ScienceDaily


Regional differences regarding other reconstructions

The results of the study show a temperature rise in the beginning of the Holocene, reaching the highest values in the Holocene Climate Optimum (about 7,800 years ago). There are also high temperatures until about 6,000 years ago, when a decline of temperature started and led to the lowest values in the first stage of the late Holocene (about 4,200 and 2,000 years ago).

Last, researchers detected a rise of temperatures over the two last millenniums, but they state they have to be careful with these data. “We cannot guarantee the observed rise in the reconstruction results from a temperature rise only, we cannot rule out other variables that can influence at other levels, such as the gradual increase of the anthropic activity in the area, which can change the community of Chironomidae to species that adapt to higher temperatures, but there are also human influence indicators,” says Narcís Prat.

Although these conclusions can coincide with other paleoclimate reconstructions, results also highlight some divergences at a regional level. “These differences can occur due the fact that some indicators point out to different seasonal signs. Therefore, Chironomidae are indicators of temperature in summer, while others such as chrysophites or alkenones are related to winter/spring temperatures,” notes the researcher.

A tool to evaluate climate trends

Relics of ‘lost continents’ hidden under Antarctica are revealed by satellite images after scientists track 200 million years of tectonic plate shifts

by H. Pettit, November 9, 2018 in MailOnline


  • Images reveal a timeline of the ancient landmasses buried beneath Antarctica
  • They were taken by the long-dead Gravity field and Ocean Circulation Explorer 
  • The ESA satellite collected data on Earth’s gravitational pull

  • The study revealed that West Antarctica (green) has a thinner crust than East Antarctica (blue), which has a ‘family likeness to Australia and India’

Environmental Impacts Of Drilling For Geothermal Energy

by P. Homewood, November 9, 2018 in NotaLotofPeopleKnowThat


What are the environmental impacts?
Generally the environmental impact of geothermal developments is extremely low. There are virtually no emissions and land use and visual impact are small. However, some potential impacts do need to be considered and information on each of these issues is set out in the sections below.
All these issues will be fully considered as part of the planning process. Cornwall Council has worked with the industry to develop robust Supplementary Planning Guidance to ensure risks are mitigated and minimised. In addition to planning permission, projects must also obtain the necessary licenses from the Environment Agency.

What is the risk of earth tremors (induced seismicity)?

Ta-da! America’s Shale Boom Makes a New Mexico

by Liam Denning, November 1, 2018 in BloomberOpinion


The contrast between the success of the U.S. oil and gas industry and unpopularity in the stock market grows ever starker.

The Energy Information Administration released revised monthly figures for U.S. oil production on Thursday. The headline is that production is up — way, way up. It reached 11.35 million barrels a day in August, fully 2.1 million barrels a day higher than a year before. That’s almost like adding a whole new Mexico in the space of 12 months.

Another failure of peer review, due to corrupt temperature data from a single station

by Anthony Watts, November 7, 2018 in WUWT


A new study, based on 27 years of data from Mana Pools National Park in Zimbabwe, suggests that temperature increases over the last three decades have already caused major declines in local populations of tsetse flies.

This analysis, published in the journal PLOS Medicine this week, provides a first step in linking temperature to the risk of sleeping sickness in Africa.

My analysis

A model for fly population mortality is only as good as the temperature data used to run the model. It appears they only used one source of temperature data, the only one available to them, the Rekomitjie Research Station.

Interestingly, this helpful photo was also included in the press release from Eurekalert. It is the weather station used to monitor climate at the Rekomitjie Research Station, Zimbabwe. I provide it below, click for full-size. At the scale displayed above, you might not notice some important details about the weather station itself, but I did. Here it is, magnified: …

Quality Control Sorely Needed In Climate Science: Half Of Peer-Reviewed Results Non-Replicable, Flawed.

by K. Richard, November 8, 2018 in NoTricksZone


“A number of biases internal and external to the scientific community contribute to perpetuating the perception of ocean calamities in the absence of robust evidence.” Duarte et al., 2015

Within a matter of days after the press release for a newly published Nature paperspewed the usual it’s-worse-than-we-thought headlines throughout the alarmosphere (Washington Post, BBC, New York Times), the paper’s results were assessed to have “major problems” by an author of multiple CO2 climate sensitivity papers (Lewis and Curry, 2015, 2018).

A glaring miscalculation was quickly spotted that changed not only the results, but consequently undermined the conclusion that estimates of climate sensitivity to doubled CO2 may be too low.

And yet the paper was able to pass through peer review anyway.