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.

Hurricane Florence is not climate change or global warming. It’s just the weather.

by Roy W. Spencer, September 15, 2018 in USAToday

Even before Hurricane Florence made landfall somewhere near the border of North and South Carolina, predicted damage from potentially catastrophic flooding from the storm was already being blamed on global warming.

Writing for NBC News, Kristina Dahl contended, “With each new storm, we are forced to question whether this is our new, climate change-fueled reality, and to ask ourselves what we can do to minimize the toll from supercharged storms.”

The theory is that tropical cyclones have slowed down in their speed by about 10 percent over the past 70 years due to a retreat of the jet stream farther north, depriving storms of steering currents and making them stall and keep raining in one location. This is what happened with Hurricane Harvey in Houston last year.

But like most claims regarding global warming, the real effect is small, probably temporary, and most likely due to natural weather patterns …

Beyond Milankovitch

by Donald Rapp, September 8, 218 in Climate Etc.

On the terminations of Ice Ages.

Terminations occur on solar up-lobes

There is no doubt that there is merit in the widely accepted Milankovitch theory that Ice Ages and their terminations are controlled by solar input to the NH in mid-summer. It is also clear that relying on the solar input to the NH alone, does not adequately account for the occurrence of terminations of Ice Ages. The variation of solar input to high latitudes is modulated by precession, which produces continual up-lobes and down-lobes in solar input with a ~ 22,000-year period. While every termination is accompanied by the 5,500-year rising portion of an up-lobe in the solar input to high latitudes, many strong up-lobes do not produce a termination….

End of the Little Ice Age in the Alps forced by industrial black carbon

by Thomas H. Painter et al., September 17, 2018 in PNAS

The end of the Little Ice Age in the European Alps has long been a paradox to glaciology and climatology. Glaciers in the Alps began to retreat abruptly in the mid-19th century, but reconstructions of temperature and precipitation indicate that glaciers should have instead advanced into the 20th century. We observe that industrial black carbon in snow began to increase markedly in the mid-19th century and show with simulations that the associated increases in absorbed sunlight by black carbon in snow and snowmelt were of sufficient magnitude to cause this scale of glacier retreat. This hypothesis offers a physically based explanation for the glacier retreat that maintains consistency with the temperature and precipitation reconstructions.

Geologists reveal ancient connection between England and France

by University of Plymouth, September 14, 2018 in ScienceDaily

The British mainland was formed from the collision of not two, but three ancient continental land masses, according to new research.

Scientists have for centuries believed that England, Wales and Scotland were created by the merger of Avalonia and Laurentia more than 400 million years ago.

However, geologists based at the University of Plymouth now believe that a third land mass — Armorica — was also involved in the process.

The findings are published in Nature Communications and follow an extensive study of mineral properties at exposed rock features across Devon and Cornwall …

Credit: University of Plymouth

Heat Analysis of NOAA Data Suggests the US Is Not Seeing Increased Warming

by Leland Park, September 13, 2018 in WUWT

Given the impending global warming crisis declared by scientists, it should be easy to unambiguously demonstrate the crisis from the instrumental record. Unfortunately, when looking at the  high temperature record for the US, it does not show any warming.

Figure 1 illustrates the incremental changes in surface air temperatures based on year to year differences in station average Tmax. The data is from all active stations in the US Historical Climatology Network (USHCN) from 1895 to 2014.

The classic heat equation defines changes in heat content as being proportional to changes in temperature (ΔQ = ƒ{ΔT} ).

Thus, Figure 1 amounts to a depiction of incremental changes in heat content, without scaling in energy units. The overall net temperature change is 0, which means the net change in heat content is also zero (ΔQ = ƒ{ΔT} = ƒ{0} = 0).

Figure 1 Year to Year Heat Changes (ΔT) for the USHCN

Highlights From the 2018 BP Statistical Review of World Energy

by David Middleton, September 12, 2018 in WUWT

Statistical Review of World Energy

Global primary energy consumption grew strongly in 2017, led by natural gas and renewables, with coal’s share of the energy mix continuing to decline

Energy developments

  • Primary energy consumption growth averaged 2.2% in 2017, up from 1.2 % last year and the fastest since 2013. This compares with the 10-year average of 1.7% per year.
  • By fuel, natural gas accounted for the largest increment in energy consumption, followed by renewables and then oil.
  • Energy consumption rose by 3.1% in China. China was the largest growth market for energy for the 17th consecutive year.

Carbon emissions

  • Carbon emissions increased by 1.6%, after little or no growth for the three years from 2014 to 2016.



Despite the Never-Ending Death of Coal: It’s Still a Fossil Fueled World

Evaluating the contribution of black carbon to climate change

by Nagoya University, September 11, 2018 in ScienceDaily

Black carbon refers to tiny carbon particles that form during incomplete combustion of carbon-based fuels. Black carbon particles absorb sunlight, so they are considered to contribute to global warming. However, the contribution of black carbon to the heating of the Earth’s atmosphere is currently uncertain. Models that can accurately assess the warming effect of black carbon on our atmosphere are needed so that we can understand the contribution of these tiny carbon particles to climate change. The mixing state of black carbon particles and their particle size strongly influence their ability to absorb sunlight, but current models have large uncertainties associated with both particle size and mixing state.

Out with the Anthropocene – in with the Meghalayan

by Anthony Watts, September 11, 2018 in WUWT

WUWT readers may recall that climate activists wanted the current epoch we live in to be named the “Anthropocene”, because they believe humans are the dominate force on the planet. The official organization that decides such things, The International Commission on Stratigraphy, would have none of it, and nixed the naming recently. Now, here’s a summary of the the Meghalayan.

Welcome to the new Meghalayan age – here’s how it fits with the rest of Earth’s geologic history

Steve Petsch

Associate Professor of Geosciences, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Jurassic, Pleistocene, Precambrian. The named times in Earth’s history might inspire mental images of dinosaurs, trilobites or other enigmatic animals unlike anything in our modern world.


Global Tree Cover Has Expanded More Than 7 Percent Since 1982

by  Ronald Bailey, September 4, 2018 in Reason

Global tree canopy cover increased by 2.24 million square kilometers (865,000 square miles) between 1982 and 2016, reports a new study in Nature.

Researchers using satellite data tracked the changes in various land covers to find that gains in forest area in the temperate, subtropical, and boreal climatic zones are offsetting declines in the tropics. In addition, forest area is expanding even as areas of bare ground and short vegetation are shrinking. Furthermore, forests in montane regions are expanding as climate warming enables trees to grow higher up on mountain.

Empirical Evidence Shows Temperature Increases Before CO2 Increase in ALL Records

by Tim Ball, September 9, 2018 in WUWT

The question is how does the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) determine that an increase in atmospheric CO2 causes an increase in global temperature? The answer is they assumed it was the case and confirmed it by increasing CO2 levels in their computer climate models and the temperature went up. Science must overlook the fact that they wrote the computer code that told the computer to increase temperature with a CO2 increase. Science must ask if that sequence is confirmed by empirical evidence? Some scientists did that and found the empirical evidence showed it was not true. Why isn’t this central to all debate about anthropogenic global warming?

10 New Reconstructions Show Today’s Temperatures Still Among The Coldest Of The Last 10,000 Years

by K. Richard, September 10, 2018 in NoTricksZone

Even though CO2 concentrations hovered well below 300 ppm throughout most of the Holocene, newly published paleoclimate reconstructions affirm that today’s surface temperatures are only slightly warmer (if at all) than the coldest periods of the last 10,000 years.  This contradicts the perspective that temperatures rise in concert with CO2 concentrations.


Bottom Graph Source: Rosenthal et al. (2013)

BBC tells journalists that IPCC is God, can not be wrong –”No debate allowed”

by JoNova, September 8, 2018

Lets all bow to the IPCC — a modern God that shalt not be questioned. The Holy Sacred Climate Cow!

The IPCC is an unaudited and unaccountable foreign committee. Not only are no scientists paid to check its findings, now the publicly mandated BBC is making sure none of their journalists will check its findings either.

Carbonbrief has a copy of the BBC new internal guidance on how to report climate change.

In April, the UK regulator, Ofcom, found the BBC was guilty of not sufficiently challenging Lord Lawson, a skeptic. So in response the BBC now promises they will never sufficiently challenge the IPCC. That’s “false balance” for you.

Global Temperature Report: August 2018 – Global Temp cooling a bit to +0.19 from +0.32 in July.

by Anthony Watts, September 10, 2018 in WUWT

August Temperatures (preliminary)

Global composite temp.:  +0.19 C (+0.34 °F) above seasonal average

Northern Hemisphere.: +0.21 C (+0.38°F) above seasonal average

Southern Hemisphere.: +0.16 C (+0.29 °F) above seasonal average

Tropics.: +0.12 C (+0.22 °F) above seasonal average


July Temperatures (final)

Global composite temp.:  +0.32 C (+0.58 °F) above seasonal average

Northern Hemisphere.: +0.42 C (+0.76°F) above seasonal average

Southern Hemisphere.: +0.21 C (+0.38 °F) above seasonal average

Tropics.: +0.29 C (+0.52 °F) above seasonal average

BBC freezes out climate sceptics

by Ben Webster, September !, 2018 in TheSundayTimes

The BBC has told staff they no longer need to invite climate-change deniers on to its programmes, suggesting that allowing them to speak was like letting someone deny last week’s football scores.

It has also asked all editorial staff to take a course on how to report on climate change and said that its coverage of the topic “is wrong too often”.