We thank two anonymous reviewers for helpful comments and constructive suggestions on an earlier version of the manuscript. This research has been supported by the International Arctic Research Center/Frontier Research System for Global Changes, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, and the National Nature Foundation of China (Grant 49905003: Arctic sea ice variations and its impacts on the east Asian monsoon). We thank the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) for kindly providing the sea ice concentration data.
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