### The scalar modes of the relic gravitons *[Cross-Listing]*

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In conformally flat background geometries the long wavelength gravitons can be described in the fluid approximation and they induce scalar fluctuations both during inflation and in the subsequent radiation-dominated epoch. While this effect is minute and suppressed for a de Sitter stage of expansion, the fluctuations of the energy-momentum pseudo-tensor of the graviton fluid lead to curvature perturbations that increase with time all along the post-inflationary evolution. An explicit calculation of these effects is presented for a standard thermal history and it is shown that the growth of the curvature perturbations caused by the long wavelength modes is approximately compensated by the slope of the power spectra of the energy density, pressure and anisotropic stress of the relic gravitons.