Can sunspots affect the weather?

The sun has a major impact on Earth: It provides the light and energy that are vital to life on our planet and dramatically shapes Earth’s climate. But the sun’s activity is not always constant, and areas of the sun can cool or even erupt dramatically. Can the sunspots that appear on our star’s surface affect the weather here on Earth? And how?

It turns out that individual sunspots themselves don’t affect the weather, but the changes in solar activity that they reveal can affect temperature, wind and weather on the planet.

What are sunspots?

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