Falanga, M; De Lauro, E; de Martino, S (2020). Stochastic Resonance Observed in Aerosol Optical Depth Time Series. ATMOSPHERE, 11(5), 502.

We analyzed the aerosol optical depth time series retrieved from daily satellite Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer measurements. The investigated geographic area includes Italy and the Mediterranean Sea. By performing second- and fourth-order statistics analyses, the dynamics can be decomposed into two sources, the main of which is the annual cycle. The residence time distribution is made of local maxima over an exponential behavior. The two successive peaks are located at about 200 and 600 days. This allows us to hypothesize a stochastic resonance phenomenon in the dynamics of aerosol optical depth. The characteristic periodicity of the resonance is on the annual timescale, and the asymmetric double-well potential is provided by two different regimes for the values of the aerosol optical depth in winter and summer time. This means that a simple, although stochastic, differential equation can represent the time evolution of the optical depth, at least concerning its component related to the annual cycle.