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.

Winning climate strategy demands details

by Michigan State University, June 12, 2017 in ScienceDaily


Scientists at Michigan State University (MSU) show that examining the daily minutia of climate, not just temperature, but also sunshine, precipitation and soil moisture simultaneously all over a country gives a better understanding of how variable a land’s climate can be. That information is crucial when countries are setting policies aimed at growing food, protecting water supplies and the environment and stemming disease outbreaks. The findings were reported in this week’s Scientific Reports.

Denmark Is Killing Tesla (and Other Electric Cars)

by Peter Levring, June 2, 2017 in Bloomberg


The electric car has dropped out of favor in the country that pioneered renewable energy.

Sales in Denmark of Electrically Chargeable Vehicles (ECV), which include plug-in hybrids, plunged 60.5 percent in the first quarter of the year, compared with the first three months of 2016, according to latest data from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA). That contrasts with an increase of nearly 80 percent in neighboring Sweden and an average rise of 30 percent in the European Union.

End Game of Climate Wars: Clive James discusses how it plays out (slowly)

by JoNova, 2017


The best way to kill off the Climate Debate is to do what Team-Alarm has done for years — stop talking about whether it’s real, and just project forwards, detailing the collapse. For twenty years others have been saying “the debate is over”. Now the tables are turning. The debate really is over, skeptics won, and what’s left is to watch it continue to unravel. Clive James argues that it won’t collapse like a house of cards… (an extract from the new IPA book Climate Change: The Facts 2017.)

Indirect Effects of the Sun on Earth’s Climate

by Mike Jonas, June 10, 2017 in WUWT


In this article, I explore the scientific literature on possible solar indirect effects on climate, and suggest a reasonable way of looking at them. This should also answer Leif Svalgaard’s question, though it seems rather unlikely that he would be unaware of any of the material cited here. Certainly just about everything in this article has already appeared on WUWT; the aim here is to present it in a single article (sorry it’s so long). I provide some links to the works of people like Jasper Kirkby, Nir Shaviv and Nigel Calder. For those who have time, those works are worth reading in their entirety.

Ocean Warming Dominates The Increase In Energy Stored In the Climate System

by CO2 is Life, May 13, 2017


The basic physics behind CO2 warming the oceans, and therefore the atmosphere simply don’t exist. The only defined mechanism by which CO2 can affect climate change is by “thermalizing” long-wave infrared radiation between 13 and 18-microns. In reality, there is another one, radiation,  but that carries heat away from the earth and results in atmospheric cooling.

A Holocene Temperature Reconstruction Part 4: The global reconstruction

by Andy May, June 9, 2017 in WUWT


In previous posts (here, here and here), we have shown reconstructions for the Antarctic, Southern Hemisphere mid-latitudes, the tropics, the Northern Hemisphere mid-latitudes, and the Arctic. Here we combine them into a simple global temperature reconstruction. The five regional reconstructions are shown in figure 1. The R code to map the proxy locations, the references and metadata for the proxies, and the global reconstruction spreadsheet can be downloaded here

River plastic emissions to the world’s oceans

by Laurent Lebreton et al., June 7, 2017 in Nature Communication


Plastics in the marine environment have become a major concern because of their persistence at sea, and adverse consequences to marine life and potentially human health. Implementing mitigation strategies requires an understanding and quantification of marine plastic sources, taking spatial and temporal variability into account. Here we present a global model of plastic inputs from rivers into oceans based on waste management, population density and hydrological information.

Evidence of Pangea’s Breakup Found in Our Evolutionary History

by Ryan Mandelbaum, June 8, 2017


Rocks alone seem to show that the breakup happened 180 million years ago. But a team of Australian scientists think that you should be able to see the split and continuing shifts written into the history of how animals have evolved. So that’s what the researchers did, and they accomplished this by analyzing a large group of species’ evolution and compared them to the date of the breakup of Pangea.

NASA Study: Mass Gains of Antarctic Ice Sheet Greater than Losses

by NASA, October 30, 2015


A new NASA study says that an increase in Antarctic snow accumulation that began 10,000 years ago is currently adding enough ice to the continent to outweigh the increased losses from its thinning glaciers.

The research challenges the conclusions of other studies, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) 2013 report, which says that Antarctica is overall losing land ice.

According to the new analysis of satellite data, the Antarctic ice sheet showed a net gain of 112 billion tons of ice a year from 1992 to 2001. That net gain slowed   to 82 billion tons of ice per year between 2003 and 2008.

A Holocene Temperature Reconstruction Part 3: The NH and Arctic

by Andy May, June 8, 2017 in WUWT


As we did in the previous two posts, we will examine each proxy and reject any that have an average time step greater than 130 years or if it does not cover at least part of the Little Ice Age (LIA) and the Holocene Climatic Optimum (HCO). We are looking for coverage from 9000 BP to 500 BP or very close to these values. Only simple statistical techniques that are easy to explain will be used.

 

The Correlation of Seismic Activity and Recent Global Warming

by Arthur Viterito, April 25, 2016 in J. of Earth Sc. & Climatic Change


Earth’s climate is a remarkably “noisy” system, driven by scores of oscillators, feedback mechanisms, and radiative forcings. Amidst all this noise, identifying a solitary input to the system (i.e., HGFA MAG4/6 seismic activity as a proxy for geothermal heat flux) that explains 62% of the variation in the earth’s surface temperature is a significant finding. Additionally, the 1997/1998 SIENA was a strong signal for subsequent global warming, and this type of seismic jump may provide valuable predictive information

Indirect Positive Effects of Ocean Acidification Can Overpower Sometimes Observed Direct Negative Effects

by S.D. Connell et al., 2017 in Current Biology (in CO2 Science)


The increasing absorption of CO2 and associated decline in seawater pH values is thought to pose direct harm to marine life in the decades and centuries to come by affecting rates of survival, calcification, growth, development and/or reproduction. However, as ever more pertinent evidence accumulates, a much more optimistic viewpoint is emerging.

Study: ‘Heat island’ effect could double climate change costs for world’s cities

by Anthony Watts, May 30, 2017 in WUWT


From the UNIVERSITY OF SUSSEX and overheated climate science department, comes a claim that just doesn’t seem plausible, suggesting that in the future, nearly 11% of a “worst-off city” gross domestic product would be consumed by UHI boosted climate change. On the other hand, the study is by Dr. Richard Tol, who is well respected by the climate skeptic community. He does have a point about “the effects of uncontrolled urban heat islands”

Overheated cities face climate change costs at least twice as big as the rest of the world because of the ‘urban heat island’ effect, new research shows.

Les États-Unis dominent toujours le marché des hydrocarbures

by Connaissance des Energies, 8 juin 2017


Les États-Unis sont restés les premiers producteurs mondiaux de gaz naturel et d’hydrocarbures liquides en 2016 selon un article publié hier par l’EIA américaine. État des lieux.

La reprise de la hausse de production américaine d’hydrocarbures liquides est, selon IFP Énergies nouvelles, due pour moitié au pétrole de schiste mais aussi à une augmentation de la production des liquides de gaz naturel et de celle de pétrole issu de gisements offshore (fruit des investissements décidés entre 2010 et 2014 lorsque les cours du pétrole étaient au plus haut).

What Happened to Spot? A Solar Update

by Stephanie Osborn, June 7, 2017


I’ve been keeping a spreadsheet since late last summer, and here are the results, as of June 6th, 2017. (Quick and easy data source, the daily sunspot image archives from Solarham.)

This data (through March; I’ve updated it since then) was posted on Jerry Pournelle’s blog a while back, and it elicited several questions from readers, who didn’t understand the information contained therein. So here is an effort to elaborate on the data, for those of you who aren’t astronomers/ astrophysicists and don’t want to have to keep up with all this stuff.

The oldest fossil mushroom

by Sam W. Heads et al., June 7, 2017, in PLOS/One


A new fossil mushroom is described and illustrated from the Lower Cretaceous Crato Formation of northeast Brazil. Gondwanagaricites magnificus gen. et sp. nov. is remarkable for its exceptional preservation as a mineralized replacement in laminated limestone, as all other fossil mushrooms are known from amber inclusions. Gondwanagaricites represents the oldest fossil mushroom to date and the first fossil mushroom from Gondwana.

Extreme temperatures in Southeast Asia caused by El Niño and worsened by global warming

by K. Thirumalai et al., June 6, 2017, in Nature Communication


In April 2016, southeast Asia experienced surface air temperatures (SATs) that surpassed national records, exacerbated energy consumption, disrupted agriculture and caused severe human discomfort. Here we show using observations and an ensemble of global warming simulations the combined impact of the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon and long-term warming on regional SAT extremes. We find a robust relationship between ENSO and southeast Asian SATs wherein virtually all April extremes occur during El Niño years.

Threshold in North Atlantic-Arctic Ocean circulation controlled by the subsidence of the Greenland-Scotland Ridge

by Michael Stars et al., June 5, 2017 in Nature Communication


High latitude ocean gateway changes are thought to play a key role in Cenozoic climate evolution. However, the underlying ocean dynamics are poorly understood. Here we use a fully coupled atmosphere-ocean model to investigate the effect of ocean gateway formation that is associated with the subsidence of the Greenland–Scotland Ridge. We find a threshold in sill depth (50 m) that is linked to the influence of wind mixing.