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Sunspots are storms on the sun's surface that are produce intense magnetic activity and create solar flares and hot gassy ejections from the sun's corona. Scientists have found that that the number of spots on the sun cycles over time, reaching a peak, called the Solar Maximum, approximately every 11 years.
Solar winds, according to NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, are magnetized plasma flares associated with sunspots. Solar winds spew into space from the sun and are believe to affect cloud cover on earth.
Both long-term and short-term variations in solar activity are hypothesized to affect global climate.
Some scientists believe that solar-caused climate change epochs include the Medieval Warm Period, Little Ice Age and Early Twentieth Century (1910-1940) Warm Period.