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Carl Wunsch and Patrick Heimbach

Sv (an extremely large value; 1 Sv ≡ 10 6 m 3 s −1 ), and if the entire convected volume were restricted to that region (physically impossible), then the time to replace the water mass would be about 50 yr. Basin-wide baroclinic variability in the deep oceans on a decadal time scale is not expected —with implications both for predictability and near-term detectability. Coarse-resolution models that do apparently produce major, deep, baroclinic open ocean adjustments on subdecadal time scales

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Yafang Zhong and Zhengyu Liu

1. Introduction Observations have shown evidence of significant Pacific multidecadal variability (PMV) with a time scale of 50–70 yr ( Minobe 1997 ; Mantua et al. 1997 ; Enfield and Mestas-Nunez 1999 ; Wu et al. 2003 ; Deser et al. 2004 ). However, the mechanism for the PMV has remained poorly understood. Compared to the intensive studies on the mechanisms of the shorter (10–25 yr) Pacific decadal variability (PDV; Latif and Barnett 1994 ; Minobe 1999 , 2000 ) or the North Atlantic

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J. A. Whitehead

could be hysteresis. Abrupt transitions for a numerical ocean circulation model were encountered about 30 yr ago ( Bryan 1986 ). At that time, a number of candidates responsible for the mechanics of abrupt transition were listed as possible sources. During the next decade, abrupt jumps between thermohaline modes in numerous box model studies (summarized by Marotzke 1994 and Whitehead 1995 ) showed that thermohaline transitions in the ocean were primary candidates. These box model studies led to

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