We are grateful to Dr. T. J. Crowley for his input to this paper. We like to thank Dr. Andreas Villwock for assistance with the data handling and Mr. A. Timmermann for many fruitful discussions. We would like to thank the British meteorological office (UKMO) and the National Centers for Environmental Prediction for providing the SST datasets and the Climate Modeling Division at the Max-Planck-Institut für Meteorologie for providing the AGCM results. This work was supported by the DICE project of the European Union under Grant EV5V-CI94-0538, the project Klimavariabilität und Signalanalyse of the Bundesministerium für Forschung und Technologie under Grant 07VKV01/1, and the NOAA Consortium.
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