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.

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.


by Clives James, The Australian in GWPF, June 6, 2017

Actually, a more illustrative starting point for the theme of the permanently imminent climatic apocalypse might be taken as August 3, 1971, when The Sydney Morning Herald announced that the Great Barrier Reef would be dead in six months.

After six months the reef had not died, but it has been going to die almost as soon as that ever since, making it a strangely durable emblem for all those who have wedded themselves to the notion of climate catastrophe.

Paris climate promises will reduce temperatures by just 0.05°C in 2100

by Bjorn Lomborg, June 2017

Even if we assume that these promises would be extended for another 70 years, there is still little impact: if every nation fulfills every promise by 2030, and continues to fulfill these promises faithfully until the end of the century, and there is no ‘CO₂ leakage’ to non-committed nations, the entirety of the Paris promises will reduce temperature rises by just 0.17°C (0.306°F) by 2100.


Where is the paper published?

The peer-reviewed paper is published in the upcoming issue of Global Policy journal (November 2015). You can access the article online here.

Big rigs pave way for second shale oil boom

by Collin Eaton, May 27, 2017 in Houston Chronicle

Drillers have mastered feat of pumping more at less cost

On a drilling rig towering above quiet cattle farms in Southeast Texas, Eric Williams perched inside the cabin of the 16-story machine, twisting a pair of joysticks to guide a gigantic wrench roaring into action, drowning out every sound as it reached for a 1,500-pound pipe emerging from the earth – pipe that soon will feed oil into a second shale boom.

New Papers Show Solar Activity Impacts ENSO, Refuting Claims Sun Has Little Impact On Climate

by P. Gosselin, May 28, 2017

In a joint US-German study, seven scientists recently tried to discredit the sun’s impact on climate. On April 19, 2017, Guoyong Wen and colleagues published a modeling study in the Journal of Space Weather and Space Climate, which suggested a maximum solar-dependent share of 0.1°C on the temperature development over the past 400 years. Here the scientists relied on the old, well-known trick of using the Little Ice Age as the starting.


US Summers Are Getting Much Cooler

by Tony Heller, June 3, 2017

Summer is here, and climate alarmists are about to bombard us with claims that global warming is going to burn us up. The data shows the exact opposite. There are 693 USHCN stations which were active in both 1920 and 2016. I ran statistics on this stable group of stations.

The average summer maximum temperature in the US is down about one degree since the 1920’s.

Densely Aggregated Corals Maintain Calcification Under Ocean Acidification Conditions

by N.R. Evensen and P.J. Edmunds, 2017, J. Exp. Biology

Regardless of the actual mechanism responsible for the densely aggregated corals to maintain calcification rates in the face of ocean acidification, the study of Evensen and Edmunds, in their words, offers “a compelling case for differential densities of branching coral colonies (i.e. aggregation types) mediating the sensitivity of coral communities in at least some habitats” and it further supports “recent indications that neighboring organisms, such as conspecific coral colonies in the present example, can create small-scale refugia from the negative effects of ocean acidification” And that is more good news for those concerned about the future health of these important marine ecosystems.

Climate Change: The Facts 2017

by Jennifer Marohasy, June3, 2017

Important new book coming out  …

Contributors to Climate Change: The Facts 2017 do not conform to a unitary view.   As I explain in the book’s introduction:

“An advantage of my approach in the compiling of the chapters for this book – an approach where there has been no real attempt to put everything into neat boxes – is that there are many surprises. I am referring to the snippets of apparently anomalous information scattered through the chapters. These can, hopefully, one day, be reconciled. As this occurs, we may begin to see the emergence of a coherent theory of climate – where output from computer-simulation models bears some resemblance to real-world measurements that have not first been ‘homogenised’.




by Jo Moreau, Belgotopia, June 2, 2017

“Ceux qui me font l’honneur (et le plaisir) de suivre ma page Facebook “belgotopia” suivent ma rubrique : “Dans l’hilarante série, les délires climatiques” dans laquelle je distille à doses homéopathiques toutes les épouvantables conséquences du réchauffement climatique. Celles-ci sont publiées soit dans des médias, soit dans des revues scientifiques dont on ne peut mettre le sérieux en doute.

Etant arrivé au centième, j’en fais ici une compilation. J’ en ai encore un nombre considérable en réserve !”

Stony corals more resistant to climate change than thought

by Rutgers University, June1, 2017 in SienceDaily

Stony corals may be more resilient to ocean acidification than once thought, according to a Rutgers University study that shows they rely on proteins to help create their rock-hard skeletons.

“The bottom line is that corals will make rock even under adverse conditions,” said Paul G. Falkowski, a distinguished professor who leads the Environmental Biophysics and Molecular Ecology Laboratory at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. “They will probably make rock even as the ocean becomes slightly acidic from the burning of fossil fuels.”

See also here

A Holocene Temperature Reconstruction Part 1: the Antarctic

by Andy May, June1, 2017

The Marcott, et al. 2013 worldwide reconstruction has its problems, but many of the proxies used in the reconstruction are quite good and very usable.

The Antarctic reconstruction created here is comparable to previous temperature reconstructions, especially those focusing on eastern Antarctica. It shows two climatic optima, one from 11500 BP to 9000 BP and another from 6000 BP to 3000 BP. In eastern Antarctica, using our proxies, the later optimum is warmer. But, in other areas the earlier optimum is warmer, however, the difference is small