This study was supported by the New Investigator Program (NIP) of the NASA EOS and NSF Early Career Development Award. We thank NCAR Data Support Center (NDSC) for the access to the ECMWF reanalyses, NCAR SCD (funded by NSF) for supplying the required computational resources, and NASA/Goddard and NASA/Langley DAACs for freely providing NVAP and ISCCP D2 data. We also thank Robert E. Dickinson for helpful comments, and Margaret Sanderson Rae and Cas Sprout for editorial assistance.
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