07/25/2012 12:00 pm ET Updated Jul 25, 2012

Polar Bear Helps Cubs Climb Onto Greenland Ice (VIDEO)

Polar bears may have a reputation for ferocity, but moms will be moms.

In this video, taken from the RRS James Clark Ross during a scientific voyage to the Arctic in June, a mother polar bear can be seen helping one of her cubs onto the ice off Greenland's eastern coast.

The footage was originally posted to the ship's blog on July 1.

On its sojourn, the crew of the RRS James Clark Ross studied the effects of surface ocean acidification on organisms such as bacteria, phytoplankton and zooplankton, which form the base of the ocean food chain. The crew also studied "how the sea interacts with the atmosphere to influence global climate."

Climate change is especially relevant to polar bear populations, since the Arctic predators hunt on the ice. Habitat reduction due to melting ice is thought to have contributed to grisly incidents of polar bear cannibalism.

Earlier this week, NASA released satellite imagery that showed 97 percent of Greenland's top layer ice sheet had melted between June and July of this year. This unprecedented melt stunned members of the scientific community, including NASA cryosphere program manager Tom Wagner.

"We have abundant evidence that Greenland is losing ice, probably because of global warming, and it's significantly contributing to sea level rise," Wagner told The Huffington Post, but noted that the recent melt may be part of a natural variation.