Abstract. The Navier-Stokes equation driven by heat conduction is studied. It is proven that if the driving force is small then the solutions of the Navier-Stokes equation are ultimately regular. As a prototype we consider Rayleigh-Bénard convection, in the Boussinesq approximation. Under a large aspect ratio assumption, which is the case in Rayleigh-Bénard experiments with Prandtl numer close to one, we prove the ultimate existence and regularity of a global strong solution to the 3D Navier-Stokes equation coupled with a heat equation, and the existence of a maximal B-attractor. Examples of simple B-attractors from pattern formation are given and a method to study their instabilities proposed. 1. Introduction. I
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