We appreciate comments by Andy Thompson, Jess Adkins, and three anonymous reviewers. 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. The program code 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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Note that GCM simulations with fixed sea surface temperature (SST), such as those in Kutzbach (1981) and Kutzbach and Guetter (1986), cannot capture this basic relationship between insolation, temperature, and humidity. The results of comprehensive coupled GCM simulations of the mid-Holocene confirm that this aspect of fixed SST simulations is problematic: in coupled GCM simulations, precession-forced changes in surface shortwave radiation are largely balanced by changes in evaporation, which increase the near-surface atmospheric humidity (Hewitt and Mitchell 1998; Zhao et al. 2005).