This project benefited from the experience gained during the course of a preliminary study that the first author carried out with Luc Fillion using a hemispheric barotropic model. We would also like to thank Cécilien Charette for helpful discussions relating to the programming of the analysis algorithm and Monique Tanguay for her thoughtful review of the manuscript. Further clarifications to the paper resulted from the reviews by Geir Evensen and two anonymous reviewers.
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