Read the sunspots This is of interest mainly because it's about as scientific as an article can get without being swamped by graphs. It's a modest 1700 words long, but manages to give some explanations of how vanished climates can be reconstructed and how solar output can be estimated, all by counting sunspots and fish scales. The usual articles dismiss this sort of stuff far too casually. I have some slight scientific reservations about some points, but generally speaking it's the best article I've yet seen on the subject which is actually readable. We need far more of this stuff, rather than pontifications by political types.