Reinhard Farwig and Chenyin Qian

Consider the autonomous quasi-geostrophic equation with fractional dissipation in $\mathbb{R}^2$

\begin{equation} \label{a}

\theta_t+u\cdot\nabla\theta+(-\Delta)^{\alpha}\theta=f(x,\theta)

\end{equation}

in the subcritical case $1/2<\alpha\leq1$, with initial condition $\theta(x, 0)= \theta^{0}$ and given external force $f(x,\theta)$. Here the real scalar function $\theta$ is the so-called potential temperature, and the incompressible velocity field $u=(u_1,u_2)=(-\mathcal {R}_2\theta,\mathcal {R}_1\theta)$ is determined from $\theta$ via Riesz operators. Our aim is to prove the existence of the compact global attractor $\mathcal{A}$ in the Bessel potential space $H^s(\mathbb{R}^2)$ when $s>2(1-\alpha)$.

The construction of the attractor is based on the existence of an absorbing set in $L^2(\mathbb{R}^2)$ and $H^s(\mathbb{R}^2)$ where $s>2(1-\alpha)$. A second major step is usually based on compact Sobolev embeddings which unfortunately do not hold for unbounded domains. To circumvent this problem we exploit compact Sobolev embeddings on balls $B_R \subset \mathbb{R}^2$ and uniform smallness estimates of solutions on $\mathbb{R}^2 \setminus B_R$. In the literature the latter estimates are obtained by a damping term $\lambda\theta$, $\lambda<0$, as part of the right hand side $f$ to guarantee exponential decay estimates. In our approach we exploit a much weaker nonlocal damping term of convolution type $\rho*\theta$ where $\widehat \rho<0$.