We present a first application of a fast super resolution convolutional neural network (FSRCNN) based approach for downscaling earth system model (ESM) simulations. Unlike other SR approaches, FSRCNN uses the same input feature dimensions as the low resolution input. This allows it to have smaller convolution layers, avoiding over-smoothing, and reduced computational costs. We adapt the FSRCNN to improve reconstruction on ESM data, we term the FSRCNN-ESM. We use high-resolution (∼ 0.25°) monthly averaged model output of five surface variables over North America from the US Department of Energy’s Energy Exascale Earth System Model’s control simulation. These high-resolution and corresponding coarsened low-resolution (∼1°) pairs of images are used to train the FSRCNN-ESM and evaluate its use as a downscaling approach. We find that FSRCNN-ESM outperforms FSRCNN and other super-resolution methods in reconstructing high resolution images producing finer spatial scale features with better accuracy for surface temperature, surface radiative fluxes and precipitation.