This work was supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration under Grant NA56GPO221. We wish to thank John Chiang, Amy Clement, Heidi Cullen, Mike Evans, Balaji Rajagopalan, Alexey Kaplan, Steve Zebiak, Richard Seager, and Paulo Nobre for their encouragement, and for the time dedicated to discussions. Special thanks go to Benno Blumenthal for his support in handling the data through the IRI/LDEO Climate Group Data Library web site (http://rainbow.ldeo.columbia.edu/), and to Larry Rosen and Virginia Di-Blasi Morris, for their technical support. Many thanks are due to the editor, Neville Nicholls, who performed his duty expeditiously and gracefully, and to the reviewers, David Enfield and Stefan Hastenrath; their requests to clarify and sharpen the content of the paper were of great help to the authors.
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