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A simplified model is used to study the possible effects of the horizontal upper-ocean wind-driven circulation (WDC) on the variability of the overturning meridional circulation driven by buoyancy fluxes. It is found that the added interaction with the WDC adds interesting new classes of variability. First, self-sustained variability of the thermohaline circulation (THC) becomes possible, on time scales of interdecades to a few centuries. Furthermore, these oscillations may be either smalldoi:10.1175/1520-0485(2004)034<0805:eoawgo>2.0.co;2 fatcat:exa4n3oo45bufgmlvjihjzcqhi