While many science related government agencies are shut down (NASA GISS is deemed ‘non-essential’ for example) some remain open due to statements like this:
Due to the Federal Government shutdown, NOAA.gov and most associated web sites are unavailable. However, because the information this site provides is necessary to protect life and property, it will be updated and maintained during the Federal Government shutdown.
The NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center remains open, and they’ve updated their solar cycle progression graph set. Today, as we watch the sun we find only two small sunspot groups, both rather anemic.
The latest data is not encouraging for Solar Cycle 24 as the SSN numbers have taken a pretty big hit. In fact, all the solar metrics have taken a hit at a time near the peak when their should be many more sunspots and indications of an active solar dynamo.
The SSN numbers for September dropped to about 37:
Radio flux is also down:
And the Ap Index, an indicator of solar magnetic activity is still bumping along the bottom. Compare it to the peaks seen in Solar Cycle 23 in 2004:
Clearly, we’ve passed solar max, as this magnetic field chart showing the magnetic filed has reversed (a signature of solar max) shows:
Solar Polar Fields – Mt. Wilson and Wilcox Combined -1966 to Present
It seems that even though the solar magnetic field has flipped, predictions of associated climate doom have not come to pass.
Sun’s magnetic field about to flip, could affect Earth’s climate
The Sun’s magnetic field is soon going to flip by 180-degrees which could lead to changes in climate, storms and even disrupt satellites, scientists have warned. The Sun’s magnetic field changes polarity approximately every 11 years. It happens at the peak of each solar cycle as the Sun’s inner magnetic dynamo re-organises itself.
Rather than an active flip, it’s more like the sun is rolling over and playing dead.
More at the WUWT Solar reference page