This study benefited from fruitful discussions with Ted Durland, Peter Hacker, Nikolai Maximenko, and Niklas Schneider. Detailed comments made by the anonymous reviewers and Lynne Talley helped improve an early version of the manuscript. The surface wind stress and heat flux data were generously provided by the National Centers for Environmental Prediction and the merged TOPEX/Poseidon, Jason-1, and ERS-1/2 altimeter data by the CLS Space Oceanography Division as part of the Environment and Climate EU ENACT project. This study was supported by NASA through Contracts 1207881 and 1228847.
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