We thank one reviewer for constructive comments that contributed to the improvement of the manuscript. The work has been supported by the Humboldt Foundation and the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research through the PACES program. Mihai Dima was partially supported by CNCSIS/UEFISCSU, IDEI 31/2010 project, regarding part of the data analyses.
Ashkenazy, Y., , and E. Tziperman, 2007: A wind-induced thermohaline circulation hysteresis and millennial variability regimes. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 37 , 2446–2457.
Barber, D. C., and Coauthors, 1999: Forcing of the cold event of 8,200 years ago by catastrophic drainage of Laurentide lakes. Nature, 400 , 344–348.
Broecker, W. S., 1997: Thermohaline circulation, the Achilles heel of our climate system: Will man-made CO2 upset the current balance? Science, 278 , 1582–1588.
Dansgaard, W., and Coauthors, 1993: Evidence for general instability of past climate from a 250-kyr ice-core record. Nature, 364 , 218–220.
Dickson, R., , J. Lazier, , J. Meincke, , P. Rhines, , and J. Swift, 1996: Long-term coordinated changes in the convective activity of the North Atlantic. Prog. Oceanogr., 38 , 241–295.
Dima, M., , and G. Lohmann, 2010: Evidence for two distinct modes of large-scale ocean circulation changes over the last century. J. Climate, 23 , 5–16.
Döscher, R., , C. W. Böning, , and P. Herrmann, 1994: Response of circulation and heat transport in the North Atlantic to changes in thermohaline forcing in northern latitudes: A model study. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 24 , 2306–2320.
Enfield, D. B., , and A. M. Mestas-Nuñez, 1999: Multiscale variabilities in global sea surface temperatures and their relationships with tropospheric climate patterns. J. Climate, 12 , 2719–2733.
Folland, C. K., , T. N. Palmer, , and D. E. Parker, 1986: Sahel rainfall and worldwide sea temperatures, 1901–85. Nature, 320 , 602–607.
Ganachaud, A., , and C. Wunsch, 2000: Improved estimates of global ocean circulation, heat transport and mixing from hydrographic data. Nature, 408 , 453–457.
Getzlaff, J., , C. W. Boning, , C. Eden, , and A. Biastoch, 2005: Signal propagation related to the North Atlantic overturning. Geophys. Res. Lett., 32 , L09602. doi:10.1029/2004GL021002.
Knight, J. R., , R. J. Allan, , C. K. Folland, , M. Vellinga, , and M. E. Mann, 2005: A signature of persistent natural thermohaline circulation cycles in observed climate. Geophys. Res. Lett., 32 , L20708. doi:10.1029/2005GL024233.
Knorr, G., , and G. Lohmann, 2007: Rapid transitions in the Atlantic thermohaline circulation triggered by global warming and meltwater during the last deglaciation. Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., 8 , Q12006. doi:10.1029/2007GC001604.
Latif, M., and Coauthors, 2004: Reconstructing, monitoring, and predicting multidecadal-scale changes in the North Atlantic thermohaline circulation with sea surface temperature. J. Climate, 17 , 1605–1614.
Lenderink, G., , and R. Haarsma, 1994: Variability and multiple equilibria of the thermohaline circulation associated with deep-water formation. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 24 , 1480–1493.
Liu, Z., and Coauthors, 2009: Transient simulation of last deglaciation with a new mechanism for Bølling-Allerød warming. Science, 325 , 310–314.
Lorenz, E. N., 1956: Empirical orthogonal functions and statistical weather prediction. Massachusetts Institute of Technology Statistical Forecasting Project Scientific Rep. 1, Defense Doc. Center 110268, 49 pp.
Marzeion, B., , A. Levermann, , and J. Mignot, 2010: Sensitivity of North Atlantic subpolar gyre and overturning to stratification-dependent mixing: Response to global warming. Climate Dyn., 33 , 661–668.
McManus, J. F., , R. Francois, , J. M. Gherardi, , L. D. Keigwin, , and S. Brown-Leger, 2004: Collapse and rapid resumption of Atlantic meridional circulation linked to deglacial climate changes. Nature, 428 , 834–837.
Rahmstorf, S., 1995a: Bifurcations of the Atlantic thermohaline circulation in response to changes in the hydrological cycle. Nature, 378 , 145–149.
Rahmstorf, S., and Coauthors, 2005: Thermohaline circulation hysteresis: A model intercomparison. Geophys. Res. Lett., 32 , L23605. doi:10.1029/2005GL023655.
Schlesinger, M. E., , and N. Ramankutty, 1995: Is the recently reported 65- to 70-year surface-temperature oscillation the result of climatic noise? J. Geophys. Res., 100 , 13767–13774.
Schmith, T., , and C. Hansen, 2003: Fram Strait ice export during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries reconstructed from a multiyear sea ice index from southwestern Greenland. J. Climate, 16 , 2782–2791.
Schulz, M., , M. Prange, , and A. Klocker, 2007: Low-frequency oscillations of the Atlantic Ocean meridional overturning circulation in a coupled climate model. Climate Past, 3 , 97–107.
Smith, T. M., , R. W. Reynolds, , T. C. Peterson, , and J. Lawrimore, 2008: Improvements to NOAA’s historical merged land–ocean surface temperature analysis (1880–2006). J. Climate, 21 , 2283–2296.
Stocker, T. F., , and D. G. Wright, 1991: Rapid transitions of the ocean’s deep circulation induced by changes in the surface water fluxes. Nature, 351 , 729–732.
Stouffer, R. J., and Coauthors, 2006: Investigating the causes of the response of the thermohaline circulation to past and future climate changes. J. Climate, 19 , 1365–1387.
Sutton, R. T., , and D. L. R. Hodson, 2005: Atlantic Ocean forcing of North American and European summer climate. Science, 309 , 115–118.
Vautard, R., , P. Yiou, , and M. Ghil, 1992: Singular-spectrum analysis: A toolkit for short, noisy chaotic signals. Physica D, 58 , 95–126.
Yang, J., 1999: A linkage between decadal climate variations in the Labrador Sea and the tropical Atlantic Ocean. Geophys. Res. Lett., 26 , 1023–1026.
Zhang, R., , and G. K. Vallis, 2006: Impact of great salinity anomalies on the low-frequency variability of the North Atlantic climate. J. Climate, 19 , 470–482.