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.

BP just discovered a billion barrels of oil in the Gulf of Mexico

by Tom DiChristopher, January 8, 2019 in CNBC


KEY POINTS
  • BP discovers 1 billion barrels of oil at its Thunder Horse field in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • The oil giant also says it will spend $1.3 billion to develop a third phase of its Atlantis offshore field south of New Orleans.
  • BP credits its investment in advanced seismic technology for speeding up its ability to confirm the discoveries.

The credibility gap between predicted and observed global warming

by Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, January 10, 2019 in WUWT


The prolonged el Niño of 2016-2017, not followed by a la Niña, has put paid to the great Pause of 18 years 9 months in global warming that gave us all such entertainment while it lasted. However, as this annual review of global temperature change will show, the credibility gap between predicted and observed warming remains wide, even after some increasingly desperate and more or less openly prejudiced ever-upward revisions of recent temperatures and ever-downward depressions in the temperatures of the early 20th century in most datasets with the effect of increasing the apparent rate of global warming. For the Pause continues to exert its influence by keeping down the long-run rate of global warming.

Bacterial origin of the red pigmentation of Phanerozoic carbonate rocks: an integrated study of geology-biology-chemistry

by A. Préat et  al., December 2018 in GeologicaBelgica (with .pdf)


Abstract

Explaining the color of rocks is still a complex problem. This question was raised long ago in the community of geologists, particularly for the pigmentation of the ‘red marbles’ of the Frasnian of Belgium at the beginning of the last century, with many unsatisfactory hypotheses. Our recent analysis of different red carbonate rocks in Europe and North Africa (Morocco) may provide an alternative explanation for the color of these rocks. For this it was necessary to bring together diverse and complementary skills involving geologists, microbiologists and chemists. We present here a synthesis of these works. It is suggested that the red pigmentation of our studied Phanerozoic carbonate rocks, encompassing a time range from Pragian to Oxfordian, may be related to the activity of iron bacteria living in microaerophilic environments. A major conclusion is that this red color is only related to particular microenvironments and has no paleogeographic or climatic significance. All red carbonates have not necessarily acquired their pigmentation through the process established in this review. Each geological series must be analyzed in the light of a possible contribution of iron bacteria and Fungi.

Greenland Is Way Cool

by Willis Eschenbach, January 8, 2019


As a result of a tweet by Steve McIntyre, I was made aware of an interesting dataset. This is a look by Vinther et al. at the last ~12,000 years of temperatures on the Greenland ice cap. The dataset is available here.

Figure 1 shows the full length of the data, along with the change in summer insolation at 75°N, the general location of the ice cores used to create the temperature dataset.

Figure 1. Temperature anomalies of the Greenland ice sheet (left scale, yellow/black line), and the summer insolation in watts per square metre at 75°N (right scale, blue/black line). The red horizontal dashed line shows the average ice sheet temperature 1960-1980.

I’ll only say a few things about each of the graphs in this post. Regarding Figure 1, the insolation swing shown above is about fifty watts per square metre. Over the period in question, the temperature dropped about two and a half degrees from the peak in about 5800 BCE. That would mean the change is on the order of 0.05°C for each watt per square metre change in insolation …

Is the forecasted El Niño for this year fading away? It sure looks that way.

by Anthony Watts, January 8, 2019 in WUWT


In late 2018, there were some predictions that there would be a significant El Niño event in 2019. There were strong hints of an El Niño event in both SST data and forecasts. In an April 6th 2018 essay, Bob Tisdale suggested  “Looks like one may be forming right now.”

But if we look at the animation provided by NOAA’s Climate prediction center, it sure looks like it has been fading:

Arctic Sea Ice Extent Higher Than 2006 Last Month

by P. Homewood, January 9, 2019 in NotaLotofPeopleKnowThat


Just last March, the Guardian was trying to panic us about record lows in Arctic sea ice during last winter.

Back in the real world, DMI confirm that average Arctic sea ice extent in December was higher last month than in 2006. In reality, there has been very little change at all since 2005.

http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/icethickness/txt/IceVol.txt

 

Algae thrive under Greenland sea ice

by Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, January 8, 2019 in ScicneDaily


Microscopic marine plants flourish beneath the ice that covers the Greenland Sea, according to a new study. These phytoplankton create the energy that fuels ocean ecosystems, and the study found that half of this energy is produced under the sea ice in late winter and early spring, and the other half at the edge of the ice in spring.

U.S. Carbon Emissions Skyrocketed in 2018!

by David Middleton, January 8, 2009 in WUWT


Why did carbon emissions increase in 2018?

  • A booming economy.  GDP growth during the first 2 years of the Trump administration has been about 50% higher than that of Obama’s eight-year maladministration.

  • Our manufacturing sector is booming.

  • A cold winter.

  • A booming economy drove up trucking and air travel.

  • Electricity demand increased and most of the increasing was powered by natural gas because renewables couldn’t even keep up with no growth.

https://www.whitehouse.gov/articles/economy-firing-cylinders/

Another Climate Propaganda Story Promoting the Normal as Abnormal

by Dr Tim Ball, January 8, 2019 in WUWT


Other stories focus on a pattern or change in a pattern again with the idea that it is new or abnormal. Headlines like this one from 2012, “Why have there been more tornadoes than usual this year?” Often, they are suggestive such as this 2017 New York Times story. “The 2017 Hurricane Season Really Is More Intense Than Normal.” When you read the story, you find, as is usually the case, that the caveats at the end indicate it is not unusual. The problem is the headline already set the pattern in the public mind.

Natural Gas Power Plants Bringing $25 Billion to the Appalachian Basin

by Jackie Stewart, October 9, 2018 in EnergyInDepth


The Appalachian Basin is driving growth of record-shattering U.S. natural gas production, which in turn has helped spur more than $25 billion in natural gas electricity generation investment in the region. In fact, there are 29 new 475-megawatt (MW) or greater natural gas-fired power plants that are in various stages of permitting, under construction or have recently become operational in Ohio (10), Pennsylvania (16) and West Virginia (3), representing more than 26,000 MW of added electric capacity, more than 17,000 jobs during construction and incredible emissions reductions in the electricity sector.

Les COP se succèdent, le charbon résiste

by Connaissance des Energies, 18 décembre 2018


Trois jours après la clôture de la COP24, l’Agence internationale de l’énergie (AIE) a publié le 18 décembre son rapport annuel consacré au charbon. Elle y souligne le rôle central de cette énergie au niveau mondial et estime que sa consommation globale devrait rester stable dans les 5 prochaines années. Explications.

La consommation de charbon encore appelée à augmenter en Inde et en Asie du Sud-Est

Après deux années de baisse, la consommation mondiale de charbon a augmenté de près de 1% en 2017 et cette hausse devrait se poursuivre en 2018 selon les dernières estimations de l’AIE. Principalement consommé à des fins de production électrique(1), le charbon a encore compté pour 38% de la production mondiale d’électricité en 2017.

Dans son rapport Coal 2018, l’AIE estime que la consommation mondiale de charbon pourrait rester stable d’ici à 2023 : la baisse de la demande envisagée en Europe et en Amérique du Nord serait plus que compensée par une forte croissance de la consommation en Inde et en Asie du Sud-Est selon les prévisions de l’Agence.

Study reconstructing ocean warming finds ocean circulation changes may account for significant portion of sea level rise

by Anthony Watts, January 7, 2019 in WUWT


Study suggests that in the last 60 years up to half the observed warming and associated sea level rise in low- and mid- latitudes of the Atlantic Ocean is due to changes in ocean circulation.

Over the past century, increased greenhouse gas emissions have given rise to an excess of energy in the Earth system. More than 90% of this excess energy has been absorbed by the ocean, leading to increased ocean temperatures and associated sea level rise, while moderating surface warming.

The multi-disciplinary team of scientists have published estimates in PNAS, that global warming of the oceans of 436 x 1021 Joules has occurred from 1871 to present (roughly 1000 times annual worldwide human primary energy consumption) and that comparable warming happened over the periods 1920-1945 and 1990-2015.

U.S. Media Bans Scientific Dissent – Claim Wildfires, Floods, Droughts, Hurricanes Are Human-Controlled

by K. Richard, January 7, 2019 in NoTricksZone


NBC News’ Chuck Todd recently asserted that we humans can control the climate and the frequency or intensity of extreme weather events (hurricanes, floods, droughts) and disasters (wildfires) with our CO2 emissions. He has declared the science is “settled” on this point and therefore no “denier” is allowed on his Meet the Press program. But Todd and the members of his panel have recited claims that are contravened by observational evidence and scientific publications.

The Belgian electricity industry in chaos

by Prof. Samuel Furfari, January 7, 2019 in EuropeanScientist


Belgium’s electricity supply has become a serious problem. Without investment in new generation capacity, the security of electricity supply will deteriorate in the next few years. However, the country’s situation does not lend itself to optimism on this topic. Belgium is not a straightforward country. Its institutional structure can only be described as one of […] The post The Belgian electricity industry in chaos (https://www.europeanscientist.com/en/features/the-belgian-electricity-industry-in-chaos/) appeared first on European Scientist (https://www.europeanscientist.com/en)

4 oil price predictions for 2019

by Steve Austin, January 7, 2019 in Oil-Price.Net


Last year, we gave out five blazing predictions as we stepped into a brand new 2018. And, how did we fare? Well, the year isn’t new anymore but we did get 5 out of 5 of our predictions right! Self-congratulations are in order reaffirming why you read us. For 2019, really it’s more of the same, but with some caveats. Investors, listen. Readers, pay heed, we are about to deconstruct the next year. As audacious as it sounds, here are our 4 oil price predictions for 2019: