Even before the telescope was invented, scientists identified dark blotches on the sun which would eventually be named sunspots. In the 1600s in Europe, Galileo and other scientists began to record information on them, though they were not sure what exactly they were.  Today, advanced camera technology enables scientists to take highly accurate photographs of the solar system. Astronomical data on the sun is quite extensive. Sunspots are now understood to be a type of electromagnetic activity and not just dark marks. They have also become the subject of debate between those who believe sunspots are responsible for or have the most effect on global warming and those who believe global warming is purely a result of mankind’s activities.

Though sunspots have existed for millennia, the number of sunspots varies and there are many scientists studying this phenomena to try to understand the diiferent cycles of sunspot activity. Recent studies have shown that the sun’s intensity is 0.1 percent brighter now than it was 100 years ago. Not even researchers at NASA, however, know how to connect this information to weather on the ground below.

It is important to note that the sun is not a yellow object suspended in space. It’s a star, though a massive one that radiates incredible amounts of energy and light. Solar behavior does have a strong influence on our planet.  Plant life relies on it to conduct photosynthesis. Furthermore, without this fundamental process taking place, the rest of the global food web would not be possible. Sunspots, in particular, create flares that besiege Earth in the form of powerful magnetic storms.  While sunspots themselves are not directly responsible for disruptions in radio frequencies and power grids, the solar flares that emanate from them are. In fact, solar flares have the potential to do catastrophic damage to global grids around the world.

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Despite the fact that sunspots are cool shadows on the sun, when the sun has more sunspot activity than usual, it tends to release greater bursts of heat. Again, there is no definitive proof that correlates this intensification of heat with Earth’s climate. There’s a large segment of the scientific community that believes that greenhouse gases are caused by cars and that other environmentally hazardous human practices are to blame.  In 2007, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change produced a report that linked global warming to social phenomena on Earth, however this has been progressively undermined by both events and further research by less politically active scientists looking for proper evidence. At the Danish Space Institute in Denmark, scientists linked a recent occurrence of severe winter weather to sunspots. Their research does not focus on the hot weather conditions that sunspots may be responsible for. It emphasizes the more dangerous effects that prolonged snow and ice could have on the planet.

There’s one aspect of the discussion on solar activity and sunspots and how it affects the earth that should fundamentally relieve us of any fear that the entire planet will one day entirely freeze over or become a giant burning ember. The sun is approximately 92,955, 807 miles away. Its average distance from our planet makes the kind of weather scenarios popular in science-fiction impossible. Still, there’s much more analysis that has to be done to further show the effects of solar activity on our climate and finally get the true facts to people instead of politically spun science backed by the green industrial lobby.

The sun and the solar activity related to it is the source of all light and energy on our planet. How can anyone think that mankind’s activity is a more dominant factor in climate change than that? The study of sunspots is a far better long term weather and climate predictor than anything else.

Take a look at wattsupwiththat.com a website with a great ,many informed scientists and contributors which discusses sunspots and climate change with an openness missing from many websites.