We present results from a climate model integration with a multi-scale ocean component capable of locally enhancing resolution. The model is the NCAR Community Earth System Model (CESM), in which the ocean component contains a high-resolution ROMS nest for either the California Current System or the Benguela Current. In this presentation we will show results from century-long integrations showing that the better representation of coastal upwelling has both regional and global ramifications to the climate system. Using a comparative analysis of the two upwelling systems, we will show that enhancing the climate model representation of boundary currents is not simply a matter of enhanced resolution. Finally, we will use our multi-scale setup to distinguish between the role of atmospheric tele-connections and oceanic advection in propagating the upwelling signal.