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We study the Cauchy problem for the nonlinear wave equations (NLW) with random data and/or stochastic forcing on a two-dimensional compact Riemannian manifold without boundary. (i) We first study the defocusing stochastic damped NLW driven by additive space-time white noise, and with initial data distributed according to the Gibbs measure. By introducing a suitable space-dependent renormalization, we prove local well-posedness of the renormalized equation. Bourgain’s invariant measure argument then allows us to establish almost sure global well-posedness and invariance of the Gibbs measure for the renormalized stochastic damped NLW. (ii) Similarly, we study the random data defocusing NLW (without stochastic forcing or damping), and establish the same results as in the previous setting. (iii) Lastly, we study the stochastic NLW without damping. By introducing a space-time dependent renormalization, we prove its local well-posedness with deterministic initial data in all subcritical spaces.

These results extend the corresponding recent results on the two-dimensional torus obtained by (i) Gubinelli–Koch–Oh–Tolomeo (2021), (ii) Oh–Thomann (2020), and (iii) Gubinelli–Koch–Oh (2018), to a general class of compact manifolds. The main ingredient is the Green’s function estimate for the Laplace–Beltrami operator in this setting to study regularity properties of stochastic terms appearing in each of the problems.