We thank the two anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments, and are grateful for the continuous support of our research from the National Research Council in Taiwan, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, and the National Ocean and Atmosphere Administration in the US in the past 15 years. The GCE modeling work is mainly supported by the NASA Headquarters Physical Climate Program and the NASA TRMM. In particular, Dr. R. Kakar at NASA headquarters has continuously supported the model improvements and applications.

[Received 24 April 2006; Revised 16 May 2007; Accepted 27 July 2007.]

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