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.

China Says Massive Shale Oil Reserves Found In North

by Tsvetana Paraskova, March 1, 2019 in OilPrice

China has found massive shale oil reserves in its northern Tianjin municipality, Chinese news agency Xinhua reported on Friday.

Two wells at a field have been flowing for more than 260 days, according to Dagang Oilfield, a subsidiary of state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC).

The newly found shale reserves will help boost China’s national energy security and economic development, Xinhua quoted CNPC as saying.

According to EIA estimates, China ranks third in the world in terms of technically recoverable shale oil resources, behind Russia and the United States

Emails reveal how children become pawns of climate alarmism

by Anthony Watts, March 13, 2019 in WUWT

Genesis of a Shakedown: New Records Expose Children’s Marches as Long-Planned Component of Litigation Campaign

These public records produced mere days after 60 Minutes’s promotional segment, and days before the nationwide children’s climate walkouts, affirm:

  • the climate litigation campaign was expressly grounded in this failure of “conventional approaches” otherwise known as our constitutional system

  • it was to be “linked to youth climate movement (world-wide marches)”;

  • it would be accompanied by a press strategy including documentaries featuring children;

  • the meeting was acknowledged, but this strategy laid out there was “not to be publicized”;

  • the strategy sought both a cooperative federal administration “Consent decrees (would be ideal)” — and to “Bring selected carbon majors to the table, then what?”

CA sea level rise alarmist study ignores 30 years of NOAA data with no coastal sea level rise acceleration

by Larry Hamlin, March 13, 2019 in WUWT

NOAA tide gauge data measurements exist for 17 locations along the California coast with 8 of these locations having actual measured sea level rise data covering periods for more than 70 to 120 years in duration.

This measured data shows that none of these California locations are experiencing coastal sea level rise acceleration since climate alarmist first made such erroneous and flawed sea level acceleration claims before the U.S. Senate in 1988.

Climate alarmists and their supporting media conveniently conceal the fact that their flawed claims have been hyped for the last 30 years as they continue to try again and again to make the same repeated but flawed claims apparently hoping that the public will forget their long track record of failure and exaggeration.

NOAA measured tide gauge data shows that coastal sea level rise at Ca. locations varies between 3 to 12 inches per century and have remained at those levels during the long measurement periods during which actual measured data have been recorded with a sample of that measured data shown below for San Diego, La Jolla, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Polar bear habitat update: abundant sea ice across the Arctic, even in the Barents Sea

by Polar Bear Science, March 12, 2019

Abundant ice in Svalbard, East Greenland and the Labrador Sea is excellent news for the spring feeding season ahead because this is when bears truly need the presence of ice for hunting and mating. As far as I can tell, sea ice has not reached Bear Island, Norway at this time of year since 2010 but this year ice moved down to the island on 3 March and has been there ever since. This may mean we’ll be getting reports of polar bear sightings from the meteorological station there, so stay tuned.

Monster solar storm that hit Earth discovered in the past

by Anthony Watts, March 12, 2019 in WUWT

Something this big today would surely fry electrical grids, GPS, and communications. It may be bigger than the Carrington Solar event of 1859.

Scientists have found evidence of a huge blast of radiation from the Sun that hit Earth more than 2,000 years ago. The result has important implications for the present, because solar storms can disrupt modern technology.

The team found evidence in Greenland ice cores that the Earth was bombarded with solar proton particles in 660BC. The event was about 10 times more powerful than any since modern instrumental records began.

The Sun periodically releases huge blasts of charged particles and other radiation that can travel towards Earth.

The particular kind of solar emission recorded in the Greenland ice is known as a solar proton event (SPE). In the modern era, when these high-energy particles collide with Earth, they can knock out electronics in satellites we rely on for communications and services such as GPS.

The Role of Sulfur Dioxide Aerosols in Climate Change

by Buel Henry, May 26, 2015 in WUWT

Anthropogenic emissions of SO2 into the troposphere peaked during year 1972 at about 131 Megatonnes. By year 2000, due to worldwide Clean Air Act efforts, SO2 emissions in the West had decreased by approximately 48 Megatonnes. However, during the same time period, emissions elsewhere rose by 23 Megatonnes, for a net worldwide decrease of 25 Megatonnes.

Figure 1: Global sulfur dioxide emissions by region (North Amer- ica = USA,Canada; East Asia, Japan, China, and South Korea). J.Smith et al., Fig 6.

It also proves that the IPCC “Graph of Radiative Forcings” is completely incorrect, since it does not include any warming due to the removal of dimming-aerosols from the atmosphere. To be correct, this forcing needs to be included (which will have the effect of completely eliminating any forcing due to CO2). As noted above, all of the warming can be accounted for by the reduction in SO2 emissions.

America is set to surpass Saudi Arabia in a ‘remarkable’ oil milestone

by Charles the moderator, March 11, 2019 in WUWT

From CNN Business

New York (CNN Business)Move over, Saudi Arabia. America is about to steal the kingdom’s energy exporting crown.

The United States will surpass Saudi Arabia later this year in exports of oil, natural gas liquids and petroleum products, like gasoline, according to energy research firm Rystad Energy.

That milestone, driven by the transformative shale boom, would make the United States the world’s leading exporter of oil and liquids. That has never happened since Saudi Arabia began selling oil overseas in the 1950s, Rystad said in a report Thursday.

“It’s nothing short of remarkable,” said Ryan Fitzmaurice, energy strategist at Rabobank. “Ten years ago, no one thought it could happen.”

The expected breakthrough reflects how technology has reshaped the global energy landscape. Drilling innovations have opened up huge swaths of oil and natural gas resources that had been trapped in shale oilfields in Texas, North Dakota and elsewhere.

Led by shale, US oil production has more than doubled over the past decade to all-time highs. The United States now pumps more oil than any other country, including Russia and Saudi Arabia.

“The shale boom has driven incredible increases in production,” said Fitzmaurice. “US production is off the charts.”

New Paper: Widespread Collapse Of Ice Sheets ~5000 Years Ago Added 3-4 Meters To Rising Seas

by K. Richard, March 11, 2019 in NoTricksZone

During the Mid-Holocene, when CO2 concentrations were stable and low (270 ppm), Antarctica’s massive Ross Ice Shelf naturally collapsed, adding the meltwater equivalent of 3-4 meters to sea levels.

Because CO2 concentrations changed very modestly during the pre-industrial Holocene (approximately ~25 ppm in 10,000 years), climate models that are predicated on the assumption that CO2 concentration changes drive ocean temperatures, ice sheet melt, and sea level rise necessarily simulate a very stable Holocene climate.

In contrast, changes in ocean temperatures, ice sheet melt, and sea level rise rates were far more abrupt and variable during the Holocene than during the last 100 years.

Modern ocean changes are barely detectable in the context of natural variability

Image Source(s): Rosenthal et al., 2013Climate Audit

Another Failed Energy Prediction: Peak Oil Demand

by David Middleton, March 11, 2019 in WUWT

Jude Clemente’s energy articles on Real Clear Energy and Forbes are always worth reading.

Key takeaways:

  1. Major oil company (particularly European majors) predictions of a near-term peak in oil demand are 99.999% driven by politics and the need to appease the investment community.
  2. According to baseball legend, the late, great Yogi Berra, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” So, make sure your timeline is long enough to evade having to take responsibility for failed predictions.
  3. Malthuisan predictions have a 100% track record of being wrong.
  4. As these United States become a net exporter of crude oil in the near future, we will have no problem finding customers.

Here are the graphs from Mr. Clemente’s article:

Figure 2. US Energy Information Administration (EIA) 2019 global petroleum liquids demand forecast.

Henrik Svensmark: Force Majeure – The Sun’s Role In Climate Change (PDF)

in GWPF, March 11, 2019

London, 11 March: A new report from the Global Warming Policy Foundation reveals that the solar influence on climate is is much larger than is generally recognised.

The report, by Professor Henrik Svensmark of the Danish National Space Institute, outlines some of the remarkable correlations between solar activity and past climate changes. It also shows that the output of the Sun alone – the so-called total solar irradiance – cannot explain them.

“Changes in total solar irradiance are actually quite small”, says Professor Svensmark. “They would have to be nearly 10 times larger to explain how the oceans warm and cool over the 11-year solar cycle.”

New research suggests that other mechanisms can amplify the effect of solar activity. The New report reviews the possible candidates, concluding that the most likely of these is the effects of galactic cosmic rays on cloud formation. This idea is plausible in theory and has received substantial empirical support in recent years.

However, Professor Svensmark says that insufficient attention is being paid to this research area:

“Galactic cosmic rays seem to be very important drivers of the Earth’s climate. But they are mostly being ignored at the moment because they are seen as distracting from conventional global warming research. Science needs to do better if we want to make progress in understanding the actual impact of natural factors of climate change.”

Henrik Svensmark: Force Majeure – The Sun’s Role In Climate Change (PDF)

About the author
Prof Henrik Svensmark is a physicist and a senior researcher in the Astrophysics and Atmospheric Physics Division of the National Space Institute (DTU Space) in Lyngby, Denmark. Svensmark presently leads the Sun–Climate Research group at DTU Space.


by GWPF, March 8, 2019

Chinese climate scientists are clearly off-message. They keep referring to the global warming hiatus which so many scientists and activists – those who shout on twitter and prowl the comment sections of off-colour articles on the subject – know has been trounced and discredited again and again. They clearly ought to have a word with the emerging science powerhouse that is China.

Writing recently in “Science of The Total Environment,” Li and Zha of Nanjing Normal University, say the global hiatus has played a prominent role in their thinking and they see it reflected in China. Using satellite data they found a hiatus in China between 2001-15. They found warming in western and southern China and a 15-year cooling trend in northern China. For China as a whole they estimate that the warming rate is just -0.02°C per decade. The conclude that, “there is a regional warming hiatus, a pause or slowdown in China, and (it) implies that greenhouse gas induced warming is suppressed by other natural forcing in the early 21st century.”

There is also Li et al writing in Climate Dynamics who are a little more forceful saying, “since the late 1990s, the global warming has ground to a halt, which has sparked a rising interest among the climate scientists. The hiatus is not only observed in globally average surface air temperature, but also in the China winter air temperature trend, which turns from warming during 1979-1997 to cooling during 1998-2013.” They attribute the effect to the melting of Arctic sea ice.

Gan et al (Lanzhou University and South Dakota State University), reporting in Earth and Space Science say that the hiatus, if not cooling, is seen over the Northern Hemisphere finding that the daily temperature minimum experienced an “obvious” decline in North America during the warming slowdown period. They relate the changes in daily temperature minimum to the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation.

Global Warming off the hook? Alien species are primary cause of recent global extinctions

by University College London, March 3, 2019 in WUWT

Alien species are the main driver of recent extinctions in both animals and plants, according to a new study by UCL researchers.

They found that since 1500, alien species have been solely responsible for 126 extinctions, 13% of the total number studied.

Of 953 global extinctions, 300 happened in some part because of alien species, and of those 300, 42% had alien species alone listed as the cause of their demise.

The study, published today in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, used data from the 2017 IUCN Red List on the total numbers of species that are considered to have gone extinct globally since 1500.

In total, 261 out of 782 animal species (33.4%) and 39 out of 153 plant species (25.5%) listed aliens as one of their extinction drivers. In contrast, native species impacts were associated with only 2.7% of animal extinctions and 4.6% of plant extinctions.




by GWPF, March 6, 2019

The Met Office says it’s going to get warmer this year. GWPF readers reckon not.

Back in early February, we invited readers to submit their entries for our 2019 global temperature prediction competition. The GWPF posse had soundly beaten the Met Office in last year’s competition, and you certainly seemed encouraged by your success, as there were 250 entries this time round, more than double last year’s entry.

For 2019, the Met Office have once again pushed the boat out on their predictions, suggesting that we might see a temperature rise of 0.19°C by the year end.

As you can see from the graph below, GWPF readers are a lot more cautious. The graph is a histogram of the entries, so the height of each blue bar is the number of readers making a particular prediction, the temperatures being given in terms of anomalies from the 1961-1990 average. The most common prediction was therefore for a slight decline in temperature over the course of the year, down to to 0.55°C from last year’s 0.6°C. The Met Office prediction is the grey band – they have given a single value this time round, rather than the range given in previous years.

A Month Without Sunspots

by Dr Tony Phillips, March 6, 2019 in SpaceWeatherArchive

March 1, 2019: There are 28 days in February. This year, all 28 of them were spotless. The sun had no sunspots for the entire month of Feb. 2019. This is how the solar disk looked every day:

How does this affect us on Earth? The biggest change may be cosmic rays. High energy particles from deep space penetrate the inner solar system with greater ease during periods of low solar activity. Indeed, NASA spacecraft and space weather balloons are detecting just such an increase in radiation. Cosmic rays can alter the flow of electricity through Earth’s atmosphere, trigger lightning, potentially alter cloud cover, and dose commercial air travelers with extra “rads on a plane.”

As February ended, March is beginning … with no sunspots. Welcome to Solar Minimum!


by Edwin Timmer, March 9, 2019 in GWPF

“What really matters is: what happens in developing countries such as China, India, Indonesia, Brazil and Nigeria”, says Lewis, who gave a presentation at De Groene Rekenkamer Foundation this week in Amsterdam. According to him, it is much more important that developing countries quickly become richer and how rising CO2 emissions that this entails can be limited.

“We have a lot of knowledge and expertise in Europe. We can spend our money better than investing billions in subsidies and other climate policies that have virtually no effect on global emissions.”

Lewis would prefer to see investments in the development of clean nuclear energy or techniques to get CO2 out of the air and shut down coal-fired plants. “That could then be rolled out over the rest of the world.”