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The timing and mechanisms of the eastern equatorial Pacific (EEP) cold tongue development, a salient feature of the tropical ocean, are intensely debated on geological time scales. Here, we reconstruct cold tongue evolution over the past 8 million years by computing changes in temperature gradient between the cold tongue and eastern Pacific warm pool. Results indicate that the cold tongue remained very weak between 8 and 4.3 million years ago, implying much weaker zonal temperature gradientsdoi:10.1126/sciadv.aau6060 fatcat:z6mnwi6m5bhk7bfx3xh65fo2zm