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Johan Rockström


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Social Studies, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences

Resource Type

  • Videos, 7 minutes, 45 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus

Global, Polar Regions


Downloadable MP4/M4V

10 Years to Transform the Future of Humanity - Or Destabilize the Planet

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  • In this video, climate impact scholar Johan Rockström discusses his plan for getting our planet back on a healthy path toward sustainability over the next ten years and why these changes are imperative. 
  • Students will learn about the major ecological systems at risk of reaching tipping points that could lead to an uninhabitable Earth for all of humanity.
  • It ends on a positive but urgent note.
Teaching Tips


  • This video includes vivid animations that make the content even more engaging. 
  • A full transcript of the video is available in 19 languages. 

Additional Prerequisites

  • This video contains one ad. 
  • Climate change can be a difficult, emotional topic for some students, so teachers should have a plan for how to support all students' reflections. 


  • Provide students with a graphic organizer or note-taking guide for identifying the major systems presented in the video and the specific risks to each of these systems. 
  • Ask students to write a summary of the speaker's plan for getting our planet back on track and compare it to other action plans, such as the one in this Project Drawdown video or this TED video by Greta Thunberg. 
  • In response to a heavy, disheartening topic, have students watch other videos about positive changes being led by youth including this NowThis News video or this video about a young activist also fighting for environmental justice. 
  • Have students view this video about why a small increase in global temperature is such a big deal and relate it to the graph in Rockström's video to provide further context. 
  • Consider using this TED-Ed resource which also explores the concept of tipping points.
Scientist Notes
The concept of climate "tipping points" is often misconstrued. In this video resource, Johan Rockström articulates what these are and what we have to do in the next ten years to stabilize the climate. This source is recommended for teaching.
  • English Language Arts
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • 11-12.SL.3 Evaluate a speaker's point of view, perspective, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, assessing the stance, premises, links among ideas, word choice, points of emphasis, and tone used.
  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • 8.ESS3.4 Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth’s systems.
      • HS.ESS3.5 Analyze geoscience data and the results from global climate models to make an evidence-based forecast of the current rate of global or regional climate change and associated future impacts to Earth’s systems.
  • Social Sciences
    • Geography (K-12)
      • HS.47 Assess the impact of human settlement activities on the environmental and cultural characteristics of specific places and regions.
    • Social Science Analysis (K-12)
      • HS.75 Evaluate options for individual and collective actions to address local, regional, and global problems by engaging in self-reflection, strategy identification, and complex causal reasoning.
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