So far, SC24 solar magnetic activity has been in a relative funk. See my post on this very issue from last month.
Leif Svalgaard points out this new paper in AGU from Keating, and kindly placed a copy on his own website for us to examine: Link to Keating-Bz.pdf
The crux of the paper is a forecast, which extends significantly into SC24, even though there is just a small number of observed data points:
There seem to be two schools of thought on the activity level of SC24, those who think it will be very low, and those that think it will be higher than normal.
Dr. Svalgaard goes on record here on this blog in saying:
I’ve been predicting that SC24 would be the smallest cycle in a century, so it is no surprise that it starts out weak and anemic.
While I’m certainly no solar expert, based on what I’ve seen thus far, I’m inclined to agree. I think that Keating’s prediction will not be realized.
This graph of Ap magnetic index will be updated in a few days, with the uptick this month in SC24 spots, perhaps we’ll also see a corresponding uptick in the Ap Index.
From the data provided by NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) you can see just how little magnetic field activity there has been. I’ve graphed it below with the latest available data from October 6th, 2008:
click for a larger image