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.

Study: a ‘statistically significant downward trend since 1950 exists’ in hurricane landfalls

by Anthony Watts, December 9, 2017 in WUWT

This is going to rattle some cages, while at the same time vindicating Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. A new study in Geophysical research Letters studies hurricane activity in the Atlantic concludes that a “statistically significant downward trend since 1950 exists”.

An Energetic Perspective on United States Tropical Cyclone Landfall Droughts
Authors Ryan E. Truchelut, Erica M. Staehling

Retraction request for Harvey et al. attack paper on Dr. Susan Crockford

by Dr. S. Crockford, in A. Watts, December 5, 2017 in WUWT

Essay by Dr. Susan Crockford (republished from her website )on Retraction request to Bioscience: FOIA emails document another harsh criticism of Amstrup’s 2007 polar bear model

Today I sent a letter to the editors of the journal Bioscience requesting retraction of the shoddy and malicious paper by Harvey et al. (Internet blogs, polar bears, and climate-change denial by proxy) published online last week.

The letter reveals information about the workings of the polar bear expert inner circle not known before now, so grab your popcorn.

See also here

“Pseudoscience is embraced, it might be argued, in exact proportion as real science is misunderstood”… Except in the case of climate change.

by David Middleton, December 5, 2017

(…) Petroleum geologists tend to be sedimentary geologists and sedimentary geology is essentially a combination of paleogeography and paleoclimatology. Depositional environments are defined by physical geography and climate. We literally do practice in a different world, the past. Geologists intuitively see Earth processes as cyclical and also tend to look at things from the perspective of “deep time.” For those of us working the Gulf of Mexico, we “go to work” in a world defined by glacioeustatic and halokinetic  processes and, quite frankly, most of us don’t see anything anomalous in recent climate changes.

Do 40,000 volcanoes matter?

by JoNova, December 5, 2017

The scope of our ignorance on the sea floor is really something. There are 1,500 active volcanoes on land, but on the sea floor we are still discovering them all the time. at least 39,000 of them rise one kilometer off the sea floor, but there are suspicions there might be up to 3 million, holey moley. The Hilliers paper estimates that 24,000 submarine volcanoes were not yet discovered in 2007.  Wikimedia is trying to list them. Good luck.

November Arctic Refreezing 2017

by Ron Clutz, December 2, 2017 in ScienceMatters

Earlier observations showed that Arctic ice extents were low in the 1940s, grew thereafter up to a peak in 1977, before declining.  That decline was gentle until 1994 which started a decade of multi-year ice loss through the Fram Strait.  There was also a major earthquake under the north pole in that period.  In any case, the effects and the decline ceased in 2007, 30 years after the previous peak.  Now we have a plateau in ice extents, which could be the precursor of a growing phase of the quasi-60 year Arctic ice oscillation.

See also here

Global Temperature Report: November 2017

by UAH and Dr. J. Christy in A. Watts, December 4, 2014 in WUWT

The average global temperature drop between October and November, 2017, tied for the fifth largest one-month-to-the-next drop in the 39-year satellite temperature record, according to Dr. John Christy, director of the Earth System Science Center (ESSC) at The University of Alabama in Huntsville. Compared to seasonal norms, the average temperature around the globe fell 0.27 C (almost 0.49 degrees F) between October and November. (The largest drop was from January to February 2013, when the global average temperature fell 0.32 C.)

A Veneer of Certainty Stoking Climate Alarm

by Rupert Darwall, November 28, 2017 in CompetitiveEnterpriseInstitut

This essay by Rupert Darwall explores the expressions of public certainty by climate scientists versus the private expressions of uncertainty, in context of a small Workshop on Climate organized by t he American Physical Society (APS). I was privileged to participate in this workshop, which included three climate scientists who support the climate change consensus and three climate scientists who do not — all of whom were questioned by a panel of disting uished physicists (…).

La modélisation du climat, science ou scientisme ?

by Uzbek, 21 novembre 2017, in Climato-Réalistes

Les prévisions climatiques à très long terme (2100) sont établies à l’aide de modèles qui ne sont rien d’autre des logiciels très complexes, dont le but est de reproduire le comportement du climat terrestre.

Comme on ne peut pas décrire ce qui se passe en tous les points de la terre, celle-ci est découpée en mailles de quelques centaines de kilomètres de côté. Les modèles utilisés par le GIEC pour son cinquième rapport d’évaluation (2013) avaient des résolutions relativement grossières (supérieures à 100 km). La situation évolue toutefois rapidement et les modèles climatiques les plus récents auraient une résolution plus fine (de l’ordre de 20 km).

Egalement ici et ici

Study: no acceleration in global warming, climate sensitivity to CO2 too high

by Anthony Watts, November 29, 2017 in WUWT

New research yields old result: Climate warming slow, steady. Observed value is half that of CMIP5 climate models.

The rate at which Earth’s atmosphere is warming has not significantly accelerated over the past 23 years, according to research at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH).

If you take away the transient cooling in 1983 and 1992 caused by two major volcanic eruptions in the preceding years, the remaining underlying warming trend in the bottom eight kilometers (almost five miles) of the atmosphere was 0.096 C (about 0.17° Fahrenheit) per decade between January 1979 and June 2017.

That was unexpectedly close to the 0.09 C warming trend found when similar research was published in 1994 with only 15 years of data, said Dr. John Christy, director of UAH’s Earth System Science Center.

See also here

Two inches of snow will fall TONIGHT before the coldest night of the year hits TOMORROW with temperatures of -10C and wintry showers

by A Matthews and M Duell, November 29, 2017 in MailOnline

  • Widespread frost and snowfall is on the way with temperatures plummeting in London by this evening

  • Parts of Scotland could fall to -10C (14F), lower than the -8C forecast in Lapland and OC in St Petersburg

  • Met Office has issued ice warnings for northern Scotland and England  with 2in inches of snow set to fall

  • Snow is also forecast for North East England tomorrow including up to 4in on the North York Moors


Global Temperature Trends Based On Non-Existent Data

by P. Homewood, November 28, 2017 in NotaLotofpeopleKnowThat

We are all too familiar with graphs showing how much global temperatures have risen since the 19thC.

The HADCRUT version above is typical, and also very precise, with fairly tight error bars even in the early part of the record.

One wonders where they got the data to work all this out, because it certainly could not have come from thermometers.

All of the major global temperature datasets rely heavily on the Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN). Yet as the “Overview of the Global Historical Climatology Network-Daily Database”, published by Matthew Menne et al in 2012, rather inconveniently showed, most of the world had little or no temperature data in the 19thC, and even up to 1950.

Are underwater volcanoes causing global warming? Oceanic eruptions may have a greater effect on climate than first thought

by Richard Gray, February 6, 2015 in MailOnline


  • Geophysicists at Columbia University have found underwater volcanoes erupt in regular cycles that range from a fortnight to 100,000 years
  • They claim that volcanoes on the sea floor are currently experiencing a lull
  • They warn an increase in eruptions will contribute more to climate change 
  • Some climate models have assumed they erupt at a steady rate over time
  • The new research shows they change with the seasons and Earth’s orbit 


See also here