We thank three anonymous reviewers for their comments. This work was supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, a Princeton Center for Theoretical Science Fellowship, and National Science Foundation Grant AGS-1049201. We thank Sonja Graves for providing modifications to the GCM code. The program codes for the simulations, based on the Flexible Modeling System of the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory as well as the simulation results themselves, are available from the authors upon request.
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The convergence zone location estimate of Privé and Plumb (2007) and gross moist stability estimate of Held (2001b) both depend on the near-surface moist static energy distribution. One might expect the increase in moist static energy that is responsible for the poleward shift in the convergence zone to also be associated with an increase in the gross moist stability, which would tend to weaken the circulation mass flux. However, the functional form of the dependence on the moist static energy is different for the two estimates: the convergence zone location estimate depends on the maximum near-surface moist static energy, while the Held estimate for the gross moist stability depends on its meridional gradients. If the maximum in moist static energy shifts in a region of weak gradients, the convergence zone location can shift without a substantial change in gross moist stability. This appears to be the case in the heat capacity simulations here, although many factors can affect the gross moist stability.