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Jabez  Brown  eZone

Speak Mandarin

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Rapha Pictures

My Family Creed

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Jabez Brown eZone


Brown eZONE



Brown Zone



Lesson 1 Clouds

ENSO Basics



Lesson 2 Rainbows
Lesson 3 World Heritage Sites



Seven Continents Poem

Definitions  for reading maps

Understanding the Hemispheres




Lesson 5 USA


United States Map - interactive



Lesson 7






Lesson 8 TIDES



Lesson 9




Lesson 10 TBA

Lesson 1 Clouds

Clouds are made up of millions of tiny drops of water. They form in different shapes  and at different heights in the sky. A cloud forms when moist air rises upwards. As the air cools, it expands and changes,  and condenses into tiny water droplets. The highest clouds contain ice crystals.

There are 3 types of HIGH CLOUDS

CIRRUS CLOUDS- Thin wispy streaks


CIRROCUMULUS CLOUDS-  Tiny lumps that look like bead or pearls


There are 3 types of MIDDLE CLOUD LAYER


ALTOCUMULUS CLOUDS- Higher lumpy layer

ALTOSTRATUS CLOUDS-  Pale white layer

NIMBOSTRATUS CLOUDS-  Grey layer that produces rain or snow


There are 4 types of LOWEST CLOUDS

CUMULONIMBUS CLOUDS- the dark storm clouds

CUMULUS CLOUDS- Cotton wool type

STRATOCUMULUS CLOUDS-  Uneven patchy layer

STRATUS CLOUDS-  Covers top of mountain/hills


Can you find the pictures of these clouds in your  Pocket Science Book ?

ENSO Basics

El Niņo-Southern Oscillation, or ENSO for short. Often the term ENSO Warm Phase is used to describe El Niņo and ENSO Cold Phase to describe La Niņa.

What are El Niņo and La Niņa? 

 What is ENSO? 

 Why do we care about El Niņo and La Niņa?

What are El Niņo and La Niņa?

The term El Niņo was first coined more than 100 years ago to describe the unusually warm waters that would occasionally form along the coast of Ecuador and Peru. This phenomenon typically occurred late in the calendar year near Christmas, hence the name El Niņo (spanish for "the boy child", referring to the Christ child). Today the term El Niņo is used to refer to a much broader scale phenomenon associated with unusually warm water that occasionally forms across much of the tropical eastern and central  Pacific. The time between successive El Niņo events is irregular but they typically tend to recur every 3 to 7 years.

La Niņa is the counterpart to El Niņo and is characterized by cooler than normal SSTs across much of the equatorial eastern and central Pacific. A La Niņa event often, but not always, follows an El Niņo and vice versa. Once developed, both El Niņo and La Niņa events tend to last for roughly a year although occasionally they may persist for 18 months or more. El Niņo and  La Niņa are both a normal part of the earth's climate and there is recorded evidence of their having occurred for hundreds of years.

Although El Niņo and La Niņa events are characterized by warmer or cooler than average sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific, they are also associated with changes in wind, pressure, and rainfall patterns. In the tropics where El Niņo and La Niņa form, rainfall tends to occur over areas having the warmest sea surface temperature. The Figure 2 below shows a schematic view of the links between sea-surface temperatures and tropical rainfall:

  • Normal conditions (top-most figure below). The warmest water is found in the western Pacific, as is the greatest rainfall. Winds near the ocean surface travel from east to west across the Pacific (these winds are called easterlies ).
  • El Niņo conditions (lower-left figure). The easterlies weaken, warmer than average sea surface temperatures cover the central and eastern tropical Pacific, and the region of heaviest rainfall moves eastward as well.
  • La Niņa conditions (lower-right figure). Could be thought of as an enhancement of normal conditions. During these events, the easterlies strengthen, colder than average ocean water extends westward to the central Pacific, and the warmer than average sea-surface temperatures in the western Pacific are accompanied by heavier than usual rainfall.


·         Why do we care about El Niņo and La Niņa?

·         Once developed, El Niņo and La Niņa events typically persist for about a year and so the shifted rainfall patterns associated with them typically persist for several seasons as well. This can have a significant impact on people living in areas of the tropical Pacific since the usual precipitation patterns can be greatly disrupted by either excessively wet or dry conditions. In addition, the shifting of tropical rainfall patterns during El Niņo and La Niņa not only affects the tropical Pacific region but areas away from the tropical Pacific as well. This includes many tropical locations as well as some regions outside the tropics in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. For information about why this happens, see the ENSO and Climate section.

·         Seasonal climate forecasts made possible

·         The persistence of tropical sea surface temperature (and rainfall) patterns (such as those associated El Niņo and La Niņa) plays a fundamental role in making seasonal (3-month) climate forecasts possible. In the absence of El Niņo and La Niņa, seasonal climate forecasts are still possible because unusually warm or cold sea surface temperatures in other parts of the tropics can still occur. For more details on seasonal climate forecasts, see Forecasting Climate


So What is an El Niņo, Anyway?

What is an El Niņo?

What causes it?

    Usually, the wind blows strongly from east to west along the equator in the Pacific. This actually piles up water (about half a meter's worth) in the western part of the Pacific. In the eastern part, deeper water (which is colder than the sun-warmed surface water) gets pulled up from below to replace the water pushed west. So, the normal situation is warm water (about 30 C) in the west, cold (about 22 C) in the east.

    In an El Niņo, the winds pushing that water around get weaker. As a result, some of the warm water piled up in the west slumps back down to the east, and not as much cold water gets pulled up from below. Both these tend to make the water in the eastern Pacific warmer, which is one of the hallmarks of an El Niņo.

    But it doesn't stop there. The warmer ocean then affects the winds--it makes the winds weaker! So if the winds get weaker, then the ocean gets warmer, which makes the winds get weaker, which makes the ocean get warmer ... this is called a positive feedback, and is what makes an El Niņo grow.

So what makes it stop growing?

    The ocean is full of waves, but you might not know how many kinds of waves there are. There's one called a Rossby wave that is quite unlike the waves you see when you visit the beach. It's more like a distant cousin to a tidal wave. The difference is that a tidal wave goes very quickly, with all the water moving pretty much in the same direction. In a Rossby wave, the upper part of the ocean, say the top 100 meters or so, will be lesirely sliding one way, while the lower part, starting at 100 meters and going on down, will be slowly moving the other way. After a while they switch directions. Everything happens very slowly and inside the ocean, and you can't even see them on the surface. These things are so slow, they can take months or years to cross the oceans. If you had the patience to sit there while one was going by, you'd hardly notice it; the water would be moving 100 times slower than walking speed. But they are large, hundreds or thousands of kilometers in length (not height! Remember, you can hardly see them on the surface), so they can have an effect on things. Another wave you rarely hear about is called a Kelvin wave, and it has some characteristics in common with Rossby waves, but is somewhat faster and can only exist close to the equator (say, within about 5 degrees of latitude around the equator).

    El Ninos often start with a Kelvin wave propagating from the western Pacific over towards South America. Perhaps you saw, on the TV news, the movie (produced by JPL) for the El Nino of 1997/98? It showed a whitish blob (indicating a sea level some centimeters higher than usual) moving along the equator from Australia to South America. That's one of the hallmarks of a Kelvin wave, the early part of the El Nino process.

    When an El Niņo gets going in the middle or eastern part of the Pacific, it creates Rossby waves that drift slowly towards southeast Asia. After several months of travelling, they finally get near the coast and reflect back. The changes in interior ocean temperature that these waves carry with it "cancel out" the original temperature changes that made the El Niņo in the first place. I'm being deliberately vague here becuase it's complicated; look at the "For Further Reading" link or the "More Technical Explanation" link for more information. The main point is that it shuts off when the these funny interior-ocean waves travel all the way over to the coast of Asia, get reflected, and travel back, a process that can take many months.

What effects does it have?

    A strong El Niņo is often associated with wet winters over the southeastern US, as well as drought in Indonesia and Australia. Keep in mind that you aren't guaranteed these effects even though there is an El Niņo going on; but the El Niņo does make these effects more likely to happen.

How long does it last?

    A strong El Niņo can last a year or more before conditions return to normal. If you read the bit above about Rossby and Kelvin waves (you did, didn't you?) then you know that it lasts more or less as long as it takes the interior-ocean waves to travel all the way over to the coast of Asia, get reflected, and travel back. You can also look at the Historical El Niņo section, which has a plot showing the last 30 years of El Niņos, and judge for yourself.

How often do we get them?

    El Niņos happen irregularly, but if you want to impress people at cocktail parties, you might mention that we usually get one every three to seven years. Note the word "usually": sometimes they turn up more frequently, sometimes less. You can also look at the Historical El Niņo section, which has a plot showing the last 30 years of El Niņos, and judge for yourself (deja vu).

How well can we predict El Niņo?

    On average, complex computer models designed to predict El Niņo can successfully do so 12 to 18 months in advance. However, it seems to vary by episode; sometimes El Niņos are predicted quite well, with plenty of advance notice from the models, while other times they are predicted poorly, with the models not picking them up until the El Niņo has already started. Trying to fix up the models is one of our research topics here at Scripps.


·         What is La Niņa?

·         A La Niņa effect may be defined as a drop in average sea-surface temperatures to more than 0.4 degrees C (0.7 degrees F) below normal, lasting at least six months, across a specified part of the eastern tropical Pacific (5 N- 5 S latitude, 120-170 W longitude).

·         When La Niņa forms, the hurricane season is affected as the cooling water creates dramatic changes in the upper-level air currents that play a major role in storm development.

·         Though El Niņo caused worldwide weather problems, it also snuffed out hurricanes. Winds 35,000 to 45,000 feet in the atmosphere shifted to come from the west, basically shearing the tops from developing storms.

·         During La Niņa, high-level westerly winds either weaken or shift to come from the east, allowing more storms to develop, said Jerry Jarrel, director of the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

·         The 1995 and 1996 hurricane seasons, sandwiching the last La Niņa, were the most active back-to-back seasons on record, combining for 20 hurricanes, said Christopher Landsea with the Hurricane Research Division of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration.

·         In 1957, 1965 and 1991, El Niņos disappeared rapidly without La Niņas forming. However, in 1969, 1972 and 1987, La Niņas were in place by July.

·         Even if it is too late to affect a hurricane season, La Niņa can have a profound impact on fall and winter weather in Florida and the United States. During one, Florida can expect winter - already a dry season - to be warmer and drier.

·         ``It will be drier with fewer cold fronts and more sunshine,'' Landsea said. ``Four or five months with no rain could have a dramatic effect on the potential for fires.''

·         Some cold fronts still could wander into the state even if temperatures are warmer on average, as expected, Kousky said. ``There will be a lot more variability this winter. Chances are you will experience some colder periods than you had last year.''

·         The northern part of the country can expect a colder winter, he added, while the Midwest can expect less rain or snow. Droughts struck that region in 1988-89 and 1995-96 following La Niņas.

·         ``It accentuates the normal pattern,'' Kousky said. ``Areas that are cold will be colder. Areas that are warm will be warmer.''

·         La Niņa conditions may persist for as long as two years.

·         Frequently asked questions

·         What's the difference between La Niņa and El Niņo?
Both terms refer to large-scale changes in sea-surface temperature across the eastern tropical Pacific. Usually, sea-surface readings off South America's west coast range from the 60s to 70s F, while they exceed 80 degrees F in the "warm pool" located in the central and western Pacific.

·         This warm pool expands to cover the tropics during El Niņo, but during La Niņa, the easterly trade winds strengthen, cold upwelling off Peru and Ecuador intensifies, and sea-surface temperatures there fall as much as 7 degrees F below normal. Like its counterpart, La Niņa tends to peak during the Northern Hemisphere winter. El Niņos were present 31% of the time and La Niņas 23% of the time from 1950 to 1997.

·         What are La Niņa's main weather and climate impacts worldwide and across the United States?
In many locations, especially in the tropics, La Niņa produces the opposite kinds of climate variations from El Niņo.

·         For instance, parts of Australia and Indonesia are prone to drought during El Niņo but are typically wetter than normal during La Niņa. However, there are also more complex U.S. effects due to the influence of the North Atlantic oscillation and other climate variables.

·         Hurricanes:
Hurricanes are more likely to form across the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico during La Niņa than El Niņo. In fact, the Atlantic's two busiest back-to-back seasons on record -- 1995 and 1996 -- occurred on either side of the last La Niņa.

·         Tornadoes:
Despite the intense, frequent tornadoes during this past El Niņo spring across the South and East, some research has shown that outbreaks of violent tornadoes east of the Mississippi River are actually more likely during springs that follow La Niņa. Examples include the Jumbo Outbreak of April 3-4, 1974, which produced a record 148 tornadoes; the Palm Sunday tornadoes of 1965; and the 76 killer tornadoes (a record) that occurred in 1909.

·         Precipitation:
The southern and central United States tend to be drier than normal during a La Niņa winter. Major droughts accompanied the last two La Niņas in the Midwest (1988-89) and southern plains (1995-96). The Pacific Northwest tends to be wetter during La Niņa than El Niņo.

·         Temperature:
On average, north-south temperature contrasts are increased during La Niņa winters. Cooler than normal conditions become more likely across the Northwest and warmer than normal conditions across the South and East.

·         Why haven't we heard much about La Niņa before now?
Partly because La Niņa's effects on the immediate coast of South America are benign rather than destructive, the phenomenon wasn't recognized until much later than El Niņo.

·         Research on La Niņa (Spanish for "the girl") began only after the phenomenon was recognized and named in the 1980s. It is also called El Viejo ("the old man") or the anti-El Niņo.

·         When have La Niņas occurred?
The answer varies depending on the definition used.

·         According to the National Centers for Environmental Prediction, this century's previous La Niņas began in 1904, 1908, 1910, 1916, 1924, 1928, 1938, 1950, 1955, 1964, 1970, 1973, 1975, 1988, and 1995. These events typically continued into the following spring. Since 1975, La Niņas have been only half as frequent as El Niņos.






Lesson 2 Rainbows

After a rain showers, the sunlight or daylight from the sun shines through the clouds. The sunlight then reflect off millions of water raindrop like a mirror splitting the sun's white lights into rays of different  colours  - in this order- 7 different colours


Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet

Try this next time during or after a  sudden  shower or  rain on a sunny day, stand with your back to the sun and look for your rainbows.

Lesson 3 World Heritage sites 

See the pictures by countries


See the list here 


Are you ready to learn the seven continents and the major bodies of water that surround them!  Get ready to explore many different ways to describe the location of each continent!

About the Continents
Earth is the planet that we all live on.  It is shaped like a gigantic sphere or ball.  There are seven continents on the earth. 

They are North America, South America, Africa, Antarctica, Australia, Asia, and Europe.  

Seven Continents Poem

To name the seven continents, think of the letter a,
and when you're down to only one an "e" will save the day!
There is Africa, Antarctica, Australia, Asia, too.
The oceans run between us, with waters deep and blue.
There is also two America's, North and South you see,
and now you're coming to the end, Europe starts with "E!"


The Seven Continents' song/poem will help you remember each of these.  Each continent except for Australia and Antarctica is made up of different countries.  Each country is made up of states, and each state is made up of cities and counties.  The continents are surrounded by oceans.  The largest oceans in the world are the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, and Arctic Ocean.  These large bodies of water are located between the seven continents. 


As you explore this web site, pay close attention to the shapes of each continent.  When viewing the continents, relate the continents with something you are familiar with to help you remember the images.

Definitions  for reading maps
    cardinal directions-  the directions north (N), south (S), east (E), and west (W)
    compass rose-  tells you directions, or which way you need to go to get to some place
    continent-  one of the seven main land areas on the earth
    distance scale-  a scale used to measure the distance or how far something is between two places on a map
    equator-  imaginary line that is halfway between the North Pole and the South Pole
    hemisphere-  means half of the earth
    globe- a model of the Earth that shows us where places are located on our planet
    location-  is where something is found
    map- a flat picture or drawing of the earth that shows us where places are located on our planet
    oceans- a large body of salt water

    prime meridian
    - the great circle which divides the earth in half vertically creating the Eastern and Western Hemispheres

    Understanding the Hemispheres
    The hemispheres of the earth basically tell you what half of the earth different land masses (Ex. seven continents) are located. 

    The Northern Hemisphere is the half of the earth north of the equator, and the Southern Hemisphere is the half of the earth south of the hemisphere. 


    EARTH'S OCEANS: An Introduction

     Oceans cover about 70% of the Earth's surface. The oceans contain roughly 97% of the Earth's water supply.

    The oceans of Earth are unique in our Solar System. No other planet in our Solar System has liquid water (although recent finds on Mars indicate that Mars may have had some liquid water in the recent past). Life on Earth originated in the seas, and the oceans continue to be home to an incredibly diverse web of life.

    The oceans of Earth serve many functions, especially affecting the weather and temperature. They moderate the Earth's temperature by absorbing incoming solar radiation (stored as heat energy). The always-moving ocean currents distribute this heat energy around the globe. This heats the land and air during winter and cools it during summer.

    The Earth's oceans are all connected to one another. Until the year 2000, there were four recognized oceans: the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, and Arctic. In the Spring of 2000, the International Hydrographic Organization delimited a new ocean, the Southern Ocean (it surrounds Antarctica and extends to 60 degrees latitude).

    There are also many seas (smaller branches of an ocean); seas are often partly enclosed by land. The largest seas are the South China Sea, the Caribbean Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea.


    Ocean Area (square miles) Average Depth (ft) Deepest depth (ft)
    Pacific Ocean 64,186,000 15,215 Mariana Trench, 36,200 ft deep
    Atlantic Ocean 33,420,000 12,881 Puerto Rico Trench, 28,231 ft deep
    Indian Ocean 28,350,000 13,002 Java Trench, 25,344 ft deep
    Southern Ocean 7,848,300 sq. miles (20.327 million sq km ) 13,100 - 16,400 ft deep (4,000 to 5,000 meters) the southern end of the South Sandwich Trench, 23,736 ft (7,235 m) deep
    Arctic Ocean 5,106,000 3,953 Eurasia Basin, 17,881 ft deep



United States Map- interactive

Lesson 6    AFRICA   



Lesson 7   CHINA 

China is the largest country entirely in Asia. China is bordered by Russia, India, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Myanmar, Kazakhstan, North Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Vietnam






Tides are periodic rises and falls of large bodies of water. Tides are caused by the gravitational interaction between the Earth and the Moon.

The gravitational attraction of the moon causes the oceans to bulge out in the direction of the moon.

Another bulge occurs on the opposite side, since the Earth is also being pulled toward the moon (and away from the water on the far side).

Since the earth is rotating while this is happening, two tides occur each day.

Isaac Newton (1642 -1727) was the first person to explain tides scientifically. His explanation of the tides (and many other phenomena) was published in 1686, in the second volume of the Principia.

The Sun's Interaction with the Tides

Spring Tides

Spring tides are especially strong tides (they do not have anything to do with the season Spring). They occur when the Earth, the Sun, and the Moon are in a line. The gravitational forces of the Moon and the Sun both contribute to the tides. Spring tides occur during the full moon and the new moon.


The Proxigean Spring Tide is a rare, unusually high tide. This very high tide occurs when the moon is both unusually close to the Earth (at its closest perigee, called the proxigee) and in the New Moon phase (when the Moon is between the Sun and the Earth). The proxigean spring tide occurs at most once every 1.5 years.

Neap Tides

Neap tides are especially weak tides. They occur when the gravitational forces of the Moon and the Sun are perpendicular to one another (with respect to the Earth). Neap tides occur during quarter moons.


A lunar eclipse OR ECLIPSE OF THE MOON occurs when the Earth's shadow falls on the moon. Notice the position of the EARTH in between the MOON AND SUN -blocking it from the SUN.

Lunar eclipses occur, on average, about every 6 months.

Types of Lunar Eclipses

  • Total Eclipse - When the entire moon enters the Earth's umbra (the darkest part of its shadow), this is called a total eclipse.
  • Partial Eclipse - When only part of the moon enters the Earth's umbra, this is called a partial eclipse.
Duration of Lunar Eclipses
During an average total lunar eclipse, the moon is within the Earth's umbra for about an hour. This is called totality.

Frequency of Lunar Eclipses
Since the plane of the moon's orbit is inclined about 5°: from the plane of the Earth's orbit, lunar eclipses are relatively infrequent. There are about two lunar eclipses each year (visible somewhere on Earth).


About the Eclipse

The July 22, 2009 Total Solar Eclipse in China is the longest total solar eclipse in our lifetime, and the second longest in recorded history, next only to the June 20, 1955 eclipse in Manila.

Totality will last 5 min 8.6 sec in Shanghai and 5 min 27.8 sec in Wuhan. In 1955 totality was 6 min 1.0 sec in Manila and 7 min 6.3 sec in San Pablo, Laguna. The 2009 eclipse will not be surpassed in duration until June 13, 2132.






Lesson 10   TBA