The second version of the coupled Norwegian Earth System Model (NorESM2) is presented and evaluated. NorESM2 is based on the second version of the Community Earth System Model (CESM2) and shares with CESM2 the computer code infrastructure and many Earth system model components. However, NorESM2 employs entirely different ocean and ocean biogeochemistry models. The atmosphere component of NorESM2 (CAM-Nor) includes a different module for aerosol physics and chemistry, including interactions with cloud and radiation; additionally, CAM-Nor includes improvements in the formulation of local dry and moist energy conservation, in local and global angular momentum conservation, and in the computations for deep convection and air-sea fluxes. The surface components of NorESM2 have minor changes in the albedo calculations and to land and sea-ice models.