We present a new approach for solving (minimum disagreement) correlation clustering that results in sublinear algorithms with highly efficient time and space complexity for this problem. In particular, we obtain the following algorithms for n-vertex (+/-)-labeled graphs G:

- A sublinear-time algorithm that with high probability returns a constant approximation clustering of G in O(nlog²n) time assuming access to the adjacency list of the (+)-labeled edges of G (this is almost quadratically faster than even reading the input once). Previously, no sublinear-time algorithm was known for this problem with any multiplicative approximation guarantee.

- A semi-streaming algorithm that with high probability returns a constant approximation clustering of G in O(n log n) space and a single pass over the edges of the graph G (this memory is almost quadratically smaller than input size). Previously, no single-pass algorithm with o(n²) space was known for this problem with any approximation guarantee. The main ingredient of our approach is a novel connection to sparse-dense graph decompositions that are used extensively in the graph coloring literature. To our knowledge, this connection is the first application of these decompositions beyond graph coloring, and in particular for the correlation clustering problem, and can be of independent interest.