The global adjustment of the thermocline in response to deepwater formation is studied in a single-mode model on a beta-plane. The signal is carried from ocean to ocean by Kelvin waves, which travel equatorward along western boundaries, eastward across the equator, poleward at the eastern boundaries, and then eastward around the southern tip of continents into the next ocean basin. The interior is filled by Rossby waves emanating from eastern boundaries. Stronger (weaker) deepwater formation induces an upward (downward) motion of the main thermocline in the world oceans. The adjustment is completed on centennial time scales.
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