Stephen Smith of Thunderbolts.info has an alternative explanation of why our Sun is having less sunspot activity during Solar Cycle 24:
Sunspots are not a well understood phenomenon from the fusion stand point. It is known that magnetism is involved with sunspot activity, because gigantic loops and whorls of plasma can often be seen connecting two or more of them, held in place by the spiraling magnetic fields. Why or how that magnetism is at work on the Sun remains unclear in consensus opinions. Filaments and “fibrils” can be detected with high resolution photographic equipment in the penumbra, or darkened cores of sunspots. The swirling plasma spirals look more like electromagnetic tornadoes than anything else.
This is one example where understanding the difference between hot gas (which does not contain charged particles) and plasma (which does contain charged particles and can be electrically active) could provide some illumination: sunspots are not the result of gas convection modified by magnetism, sunspots are electrical structures.
For conventional theory, sunspot penumbrae remain a mystery: the standard solar model does not predict such structures. The electric model does predict them. Electric discharges often appear as long twisting filaments. Because they are funnels of glowing plasma they appear darker in their centers—convection cells would appear darker on their cooler edges.
In the electrical model the sunspot cycle is most likely a result of fluctuations in the electrical power supply from the local arm of our galaxy. As the varying current density and magnetic fields of huge Birkeland current filaments slowly rotate past our solar system, they apply more or less power to the electrical circuit that lights up our daytime sky. Rather than a weak Sun, the lack of sunspots here at the beginning of Solar Cycle 24 is most likely due to a weaker current flow through the galaxy.
I am finding the Electric Cosmos theory more fascinating every time I do a little more research into it and it does explain some things in a more common sense sort of way.
I realise most science folk say this is pseudoscience and the Standard Model is king and while Smith’s post didn’t attach any published papers, I did some digging around and I found some interesting links if anyone wants to do their own investigating;
These are linked to papers/or sites written by three different scientists who studied the theory for decades, so don’t go by what I say. See for yourself.