This study benefited from fruitful discussions with Ted Durland, Eric Firing, and Mark Merrifield. Detailed comments made by the anonymous reviewers helped to improve an early version of the manuscript. This study benefited from several global datasets: the merged TOPEX/Poseidon and ERS-1/-2 altimeter data were provided by the CLS Space Oceanography Division as part of the Environment and Climate EU ENACT project, and the TMI SST data were provided by Remote Sensing Systems. The Japanese float data were collected and made freely available by the International Argo Project. In addition, we thank Jules Hummon for assistance processing the ADCP data and the Ocean Data Facility at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, in particular Frank Delahoyde, for the acquisition and processing of the high-quality hydrography measurements. This study was supported by NSF as part of a Collaborative Research Project (OCE-0220680 to UH, OCE-0221008 to URI, and OCE-0220161 to WHOI).
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