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.

Anchorage “Record” Was Not Actually A Record!

by P. Homewood, July 14, 2019 in NotaLotofPeopleKnowThat

The US state of Alaska, part of which lies inside the Arctic Circle, is sweltering under a heatwave, with record temperatures recorded in several areas, including its largest city.

Temperatures reached 90F (32C) in Anchorage on Thursday, shattering the city’s previous record of 85F.

The report clearly implied global warming as the cause, with several references to climate change links throughout the article.

As I pointed out at the time, the all-time record temperature for Alaska was set as long ago as 1915, when an incredible 100F was measured at Fort Yukon.

This story follows the usual BBC recipe for Arctic heatwaves:

  • Record temperatures = global warming
  • Hot weather is unprecedented in the Arctic. Most people would believe that temperatures of 90F simply never used to occur in the Arctic, it just sounds so unimaginable.

Unfortunately for the BBC, it turns out that the Anchorage temperature is not even a record!

I have now had time to check through the NOAA data files, and have discovered that back in June 1931, the temperature actually reached 92C at Anchorage:

Super salty, subzero Arctic water provides peek at possible life on other planets

by University of Washington, July 12, 2019 in ScienceDaily

On Earth, scientists are studying the most extreme environments to learn how life might exist under completely different settings, like on other planets. A University of Washington team has been studying the microbes found in “cryopegs,” trapped layers of sediment with water so salty that it remains liquid at below-freezing temperatures, which may be similar to environments on Mars or other planetary bodies farther from the sun.

At the recent AbSciCon meeting in Bellevue, Washington, researchers presented DNA sequencing and related results to show that brine samples from an Alaskan cryopeg isolated for tens of thousands of years contain thriving bacterial communities. The lifeforms are similar to those found in floating sea ice and in saltwater that flows from glaciers, but display some unique patterns.

“We study really old seawater trapped inside of permafrost for up to 50,000 years, to see how those bacterial communities have evolved over time,” said lead author Zachary Cooper, a UW doctoral student in oceanography.

China has slashed clean energy funding by 39%, leading a global decline

by From MIT Technology review, July 12, 2019 in WUWT

The big picture: The new report suggests last year’s slowdown in renewable-energy construction has extended into 2019, taking the world in exactly the wrong direction at a critical time (see “Global renewables growth has stalled—and that’s terrible news”). Every major report finds that the world needs to radically accelerate the shift to clean energy to have any hope of not blowing past dangerous warming thresholds (see “At this rate, it’s going to take 400 years to transform the energy system”).


by GWPF, July 12, 2019 in FinacialTimes

Investment in clean energy slipped to $117.6bn, a decline of 14 per cent compared with the same period last year, according to new research from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

A sudden change in China’s renewable energy policies last year — when it curbed solar and wind subsidies — has dramatically reduced the number of new projects in the world’s largest market.

Clean energy investment in China was down 39 per cent during the first half of this year, compared with the same period last year.

However, those figures could improve later this year, suggested Justin Wu, BNEF’s head of Asia-Pacific.

Source: BloombergNEF.

Rare fossil in a fossil reveals a dinosaur’s surprising last meal

by Michael Gresko, July 11, 2019 in NationalGeographic

The find—described today in the journal Current Biology—is the fourth Microraptor fossil to preserve stomach contents, but it’s the first to show that Microraptor ate lizards. Previous fossils captured it eating small mammals, fish, or birds. The specimen also reveals that, like some predatory birds today, Microraptor had a taste for swallowing lizards whole and head-first.

This fossil of the feathered dinosaur Microraptor also preserves the animal’s last meal: a lizard it seems to have swallowed whole and head first.


Land’s complex role in climate change

by  Pielke et al., 2016 in PhysicsToday

To date, most reporting on climate has focused on the possibility of catastrophic warming due to carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere. The assessment of climate change risk has essentially been distilled to a single metric: the global average surface temperature. That reality was evident at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, where the central negotiating point was whether the global temperature rise should be limited to 1.5 °C or 2 °C. Indeed, a 2016 opinion piece by Simon Lewis (University College London and the University of Leeds, UK) states that, “by endorsing a limit of 1.5 °C, the [Paris] climate negotiations have effectively defined what society considers dangerous.”

But the reality of humans’ impact on climate is exceedingly complex.2 Even if greenhouse gas emissions could be elimi- nated completely, other harmful anthropogenic sources of cli- mate change would remain. And even if global average tem- peratures were contained, human impacts on climate would manifest in other potentially dangerous ways.

One often overlooked human factor is land use. Deforestation, dry land farming, irrigated agriculture, overgrazing, and other alterations to the natural landscape can disrupt Earth’s natural balances and change weather patterns. As with the addition of CO2into the atmosphere, the effects can last for decades or longer and affect regions distant from the original offense. Given continued rapid population growth, they threaten to be irreversible.

Polar Bears Are Thriving Despite Global Warming: Here’s Why

by Susan J. Crockford, July 11, 2019 in ClimateChangeDispatch

This essay explains in simple terms why so many people still believe that polar bears are in peril when nothing could be further from the truth; it is an essential lesson that shatters the basis of the shameful indoctrination of young school children and undermines the baseless claims of activist protestors.

It was written and translated into French for a special climate change feature issue (July) of the monthly French magazine Valeurs Actuelles (reviewed here) and reprinted by the French hunting magazine Chasses Internationales.

It has also been translated into German for a dedicated climate change issue (11 July) of the Swiss weekly magazine Die Weltwoche.

I have added a couple of figures to illustrate this English version of the essay.

Celebrating America’s Environmental Stewardship

by Jim Steele, July 10, 209 in WUWT

What’s Natural?

Celebrating America’s Environmental Stewardship

I resent the one-sided mis-characterization of humanity as “destroyers of our environment”. Humans certainly had negative impacts on most ecosystems. However, in contrast to a recent United Nations report insinuating we are threatening one million species with extinction, humans have been working hard to restore nature and prevent further extinctions. Most endangered species are still staggering from disruptions initiated centuries ago. But now humans are correcting past mistakes.

Islands have been extinction hotspots. Sixty-one percent of all known extinctions have occurred on islands and 37% of today’s critically endangered species are found only on islands. The main driver of island extinctions has been purposeful or unintentional introductions of alien species. Introduced species are implicated in 81% of all island extinctions. With no natural predators, Island species did not evolve needed behaviors to avoid introduced rats, cats and stoats. Researchers now suggest eradication of rats and other introduced mammals could prevent the extinction of up to 75% of threatened island birds, reptiles and mammals.



Ice Box July: Unusual Cold, Surface Frost Sweep Across Central Europe!

by P. Homewood, July 10, 2019 in NotALotOfPeopleKnowThat

No Tricks Zone has the latest on the coldwave gripping much of Northern Europe. Following a new record low for July set in Lower Saxony last week, there are unconfirmed reports of a new record July low for the whole of the Netherlands:

From No Tricks Zone:

Where have all the globe-trotting climate ambulance chasers gone? Well, they’re nowhere to be found in Europe nowadays.

The reason is the unusual cold that has swept across a large swath of the continent and which has sent temperatures plummeting to near freezing.

Icebox July: Parts of Central Europe saw ground surface frost yesterday morning. Source:

Yesterday morning ground frost hit parts of Belgium, Holland, Germany and the Czech Republic, as the above chart shows. Unsurprisingly, the media have been curiously silent about it.

Record Dutch July low


Climate scientists fiddling the data again and again and again and again

by Paul Matthews, June 30, 2019 in ClimateScepticism

The history of climate scientists adjusting data to try to make recent warming look greater than it really is goes back quite a long way – it’s a regular topic at Paul Homewood’s blogfor example. But climate scientists continue to do it, giving the sceptics plenty of ammunition. Here are three recent blog posts discussing how climate scientists continue to adjust data to exaggerate warming.

At Pierre Gosselin’s blog there’s a guest post by Kirje from Japan, on NASA GISS temperature adjustments. In the latest GISS version, V4, the supposedly “unadjusted” data sets are different from the unadjusted data in the previous version V3.

Tony Heller has a graph of the 2000, 2017 and 2019 version of NASA GISTEMP, showing that Gavin Schmidt and his team have managed to crank up  warming, particularly in the era of the inconvenient pause. You can also see this effect in fig 2 and fig 4 of the GISS history page.

Here in the UK, the HadCRUT4 team are doing the same thing. Clive Best asks Whatever happened to the Global Warming Hiatus? The answer is that they have demolished it with a sequence of adjustments to the data. HadCRUT3, as published in 2014, shows a clear pause, with no warming from about 2001-2013, but the latest new improved data set HadCRUT4.6 cranks recent temperatures upwards. Clive thought that night be due to including different measurement stations, but checked and found that was not the case. The numbers have simply been adjusted.


Here the red diamond is the raw data, the green diamond is HadSST3, and the new HadSST4 is shown as the black line, with grey shading representing uncertainty. In the early years of the 20th century, there was global warming that doesn’t fit with the carbon-dioxide-controlled theory of climate scientists, so that is adjusted downwards. But look at the trend over the pause era, since 2000. The raw data shows literally no trend at all. HadSST3 adjusted the trend upwards to create warming, and HadSST4 adjusts things upwards again, roughly doubling the previous adjustment. And this is in an era when the data quality should be excellent, thanks to the introduction of the ARGO float system.

‘Woke’ Climate Scientists Reveal Deep, Hard-Core Biases In New Article

by Judith Curry, July 9, 2019 in ClimateChangeDispatch

It’s getting worse.

About 5 years ago, I wrote two blog posts on climate scientists’ pre-traumatic stress syndrome:

Mother Jones has a new article on the same topic: It’s the end of the world as they know it: The distinct burden of being a climate scientist.

The following scientists were interviewed: Kim Cobb, Priya Shukla, Peter Kalmus, Sarah Myhre, Jacquelyn Gill, Katharine Wilkinson, Eric Holthaus, David Grinspoon, Ken Caldeira.

Lots of ‘trauma,’ read the article to get a flavor. This sentence pretty much sums things up:

“There’s deep grief and anxiety for what’s being lost, followed by rage at continued political inaction, and finally hope that we can indeed solve this challenge. There are definitely tears and trembling voices.”

End of civilization?

The title of the article is: “It’s the end of the world as they know it.” Some selected quotes:

Scientists: Humans Perform As Well Or Better When Exposed To High (5000-15000 ppm) vs. Low CO2 Concentrations

by K. Richard, July 8, 2019 in NoTricksZone

A new paper finds the performance of test-taking (cognitive, decision-making) “astronaut-like” subjects exposed to 5000 ppm CO2 was “similar to or exceeded” the performance of those exposed to baseline (600 ppm). This study follows up on a 2018 paper that determined submariners exposed to 15000 ppm CO2 performed just as well as subjects exposed to 600 ppm.

Those of us who own CO2 monitors know that indoor (bedroom) CO2 concentrations typically vary between about 600 ppm during the day and 1000 ppm overnight – the latter earning a frowny face air quality rating.


CO2 is a cognitively-impairing toxin?

In recent years there has been a push to create the impression carbon dioxide is a pollutant, or toxin. Consequently, there have been a few studies suggesting exposure to higher CO2 concentrations (~1500 to 2500 ppm) severely impair human cognitive and decision-making performance (Satish et al., 2012, Allen et al., 2016).

If true, this would be rather problematic for elementary school children, as they are routinely exposed to CO2 concentrations ranging between about 1500 and 3000 ppm in their classrooms (Corsi et al., 2002).

Driving alone in one’s vehicle could mean exposure to “3700 ppm … above outdoor [CO2] concentrations” (Satish et al, 2012), or about 4100 ppm.

This elevated-CO2-is-toxic-to-brain-functioning paradigm suggests the world’s highways are teeming with cognitively-impaired drivers.

Capture et stockage du CO2 : une situation étrange…

by Claude Mandril, 13 mai 2019 in ConnaissanceDesEnergies

La capture et le stockage de CO2 (CCS(1)) est indispensable…

Les accords de Paris ont donné l’objectif : un réchauffement climatique « well below 2°C » d’ici 2100 par rapport aux températures de l’ère préindustrielle.

Le dernier rapport du GIEC montre par ailleurs qu’on serait « beaucoup mieux » à + 1,5°C, et que tout dixième de degré compte : + 1,7°C vaut mieux que + 1,8°C. Il faut donc, ajoute le GIEC, atteindre la neutralité carbone autour de 2050.

Or il est complètement exclu d’arrêter toutes les émissions de gaz à effet de serre, et de loin ! :

  • l’AIE estime dans son scénario Sustainable Development (le plus contraignant)(2) que les énergies fossiles représenteront encore 60% de la fourniture mondiale d’énergie en 2040. Même si on juge l’AIE timorée, on est clairement hors limite ! ;

  • la capacité d’extraction charbonnière en Chine a augmenté de 6% en 2018 (selon la National Energy Administration en Chine) ;

  •  et surtout, n’oublions pas les émissions « de procédé » (ciment, sidérurgie, chimie, agroalimentaire).

Donc il faudra des « puits » de carbone. En premier lieu, les forêts mais à condition qu’elles soient exploitées et que les produits de cette exploitation donnent un stockage permanent. L’incendie de Notre-Dame de Paris montre que ce n’est pas garanti… L’usage du bois en chaudière réduit les émissions en remplaçant des émissions de carbone fossile, mais ce n’est pas un puits (sauf avec CCS !).

Reste donc la CCS, qui est indispensable. D’ailleurs, sur les 4 scénarios du GIEC, 3 comportent le déploiement de la CCS, le 4e étant un repoussoir.

Et pourtant la CCS est complètement ignorée voire vilipendée, sauf dans une dizaine de pays.

Examinons les critiques ou les objections :


What Humans Contribute to Atmospheric CO2: Comparison of Carbon Cycle Models with Observations

by Herman Harde, April 3, 2019 in Earth Sciences

Abstract: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assumes that the inclining atmospheric CO2 concentration over

recent years was almost exclusively determined by anthropogenic emissions, and this increase is made responsible for the rising

temperature over the Industrial Era. Due to the far reaching consequences of this assertion, in this contribution we critically

scrutinize different carbon cycle models and compare them with observations. We further contrast them with an alternative

concept, which also includes temperature dependent natural emission and absorption with an uptake rate scaling proportional

with the CO2 concentration. We show that this approach is in agreement with all observations, and under this premise not really

human activities are responsible for the observed CO2 increase and the expected temperature rise in the atmosphere, but just

opposite the temperature itself dominantly controls the CO2 increase. Therefore, not CO2 but primarily native impacts are

responsible for any observed climate changes.

Keywords: Carbon Cycle, Atmospheric CO2 Concentration, CO2 Residence Time, Anthropogenic Emissions,

Fossil Fuel Combustion, Land Use Change, Climate Change


Human CO2 Emissions Have Little Effect on Atmospheric CO2

by Edwin X Berry , June, 2019 in JAtmOceanSciences

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) agrees human CO2 is only 5 percent and natural CO2 is 95 percent of the CO2 inflow into the atmosphere. The ratio of human to natural CO2 in the atmosphere must equal the ratio of the inflows. Yet IPCC claims human CO2 has caused all the rise in atmospheric CO2 above 280 ppm, which is now 130 ppm or 32 percent of today’s atmospheric CO2. To cause the human 5 percent to become 32 percent in the atmosphere, the IPCC model treats human and natural CO2 differently, which is impossible because the molecules are identical. IPCC’s Bern model artificially traps human CO2 in the atmosphere while it lets natural CO2 flow freely out of the atmosphere. By contrast, a simple Physics Model treats all CO2 molecules the same, as it should, and shows how CO2 flows through the atmosphere and produces a balance level where outflow equals inflow. Thereafter, if inflow is constant, level remains constant. The Physics Model has only one hypothesis, that outflow is proportional to level. The Physics Model exactly replicates the 14C data from 1970 to 2014 with only two physical parameters: balance level and e-time. The 14C data trace how CO2 flows out of the atmosphere. The Physics Model shows the 14 CO2 e-time is a constant 16.5 years. Other data show e-time for 12CO2 is about 4 to 5 years. IPCC claims human CO2 reduces ocean buffer capacity. But that would increase e-time. The constant e-time proves IPCC’s claim is false. IPCC argues that the human-caused reduction of 14C and 13C in the atmosphere prove human CO2 causes all the increase in atmospheric CO2. However, numbers show these isotope data support the Physics Model and reject the IPCC model. The Physics Model shows how inflows of human and natural CO2 into the atmosphere set balance levels proportional to their inflows. Each balance level remains constant if its inflow remains constant. Continued constant CO2 emissions do not add more CO2 to the atmosphere. No CO2 accumulates in the atmosphere. Present human CO2 inflow produces a balance level of about 18 ppm. Present natural CO2inflow produces a balance level of about 392 ppm. Human CO2 is insignificant to the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere. Increased natural CO2 inflow has increased the level of CO2 in the atmosphere.