How the climate responds to regional forcing is poorly known. Progress is hampered, in part, by limited observations, incomplete process understanding and poor model performance at regional scales, but even more by a lack of opportunities for interdisciplinary collaborations. To address these issues, HETCLIF will co-locate and draw on the expertise and ongoing activities of world-leading researchers in aerosol forcing and regional feedback processes, advanced modeling, and atmosphere and ocean dynamics. Our key goal is to quantify the country-to-global scale implications of regional forcing through applications of dynamical theory, high and intermediate complexity modelling, and statistical pattern analysis. We will build on ongoing efforts to understand emerging and expected patterns of change in response to future heterogeneous forcing and develop a timely community approach for an emerging scientific discipline.