For John, BLUF: Sun activity is down, and it may have an impact on our climate. Nothing to see here; just move along.
Speaking of Sunshine, here is an item out of The Daily Mail, "The calm before the solar storm? NASA warns 'something unexpected is happening to the Sun'". Of course, it is The Daily Mail. But, still, 2013 was supposed to be a solar maximum year, but so far has shown very few "Sun spots". It was expected in 2011 (we got a small peak in the Fall) and then 2012 and is now projected for the Autumn of 2013.
Here is a NASA press release from January of this year.
Regards — Cliff