Sunday, April 30, 2023

Lightning Strikes

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Earth & Space Science, Geophysics, Earth Systems, History of Science, Nature of Science, Models

Ed Hessler

One of the many achievements by Benjamin Franklin was the invention of the lighting rod (His Wiki entry is long; scroll down to "Inventions and Scientific Inquiries" for a discussion of the invention of the lightning rod. 

The invention is based on his extensive investigations into electricity, a proposal of an experimental design on how to test his hypothesis, which was confirmed by a French investigator who used an iron tower instead of a kite (which Franklin later used in his own work), and then again by Franklin who followed his original design which led to the invention as well as some observations on how lighting rods should be used. 

His attention to safety as well as how he collected data by using a physical model which showed that lightning is electrical and then suggesting a technology to protect structures show him to be theoretician, experimenter and technologist, truly an early innovator in researching the natural world.

I had no idea on how complicated a lightning strike is as well as is investigating the moment of the strike. Now thanks to Marcelo M. F. Saba et al., we do and it involved "a serendipitous close observation of a natural lightning flash revealed novel details of the lightning attachment process to residential buildings in highly populated areas." It is also research on how to improve lighting protection system designs.

The paper was published in a technical scientific journal which may be read in full including an abstract, key points, a plain language summary, photographs of the skyline and strikes in black and white.  The photograph of the skyline is important for it shows the buildings involved in the research. The first sentence in the introduction, notes that "the effectiveness of a lightning protection system (LPS) depends on its efficiency to intercept the down coming lightning leader which is usually done by emitting an upward connecting leader (UCL)." The down coming leader is negative and the upgoing leader is positive and the leaders differ in shape (discussed).

Table 1 summarizes measurements and Figure 5 has photographs of the strokes and attachment process as well as of damage to an unprotected chimney and an explanation of the figure. At the end of the paper there is supporting information with three movies if you are interested although I didn't do the work necessary to open them. 

Here are two articles for general readers. The first is from Interesting Engineering by JiJo Malayii includes photographs as well as a link to the press release with a movie. The second is by Nicholas Bakalar for the New York Times (fully accessible) who also includes a discussion of sources (building corners, people) as well as blunt comments by Saba on claims that some lightning rods work better than others. 
Both articles are worth reading.


Saturday, April 29, 2023

Birding: Big Day: May 13 (# 2 of 2)

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Biodiversity, Nature, Wildlife, Miscellaneous

Ed Hessler

The announcement below is about the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's 24-hour birding marathon -- aka Big Day -- on May 13 and also a fund raiser for the the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. I thought you would want to know about it and that you might want to save the date.

Details about the day may be found here where you can also meet the Cornell team. If you scroll down you will find a link to bookmark if you want to follow the Cornell Team Sapsucker's progress. This year is international and includes two important Pacific Flyway regions: Monterey County and the Santiago Metropolitan Region, linked in the description.

You can also take a photographic walk down Big Day memory lane. So there is a lot of learn here.

Scent Sculptor At Work (# 1 of 2)

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Nature of Science

Ed Hessler

What exactly is it that you do if your profession is described as "sculptor of scents?"  Michael Moisseeff began this new profession after serving as a sensory analyst at the National Polytechnic Institute of Toulouse, France. Toulouse is the central city in one of France's 22 metropolitan councils.

In this feature of Where I Work (Nature Briefing) you can see a picture of him in his home laboratory - one filled, it appears with carefully labeled and arranged chemicals and bottles... neat and orderly. You will notice one safety feature, a fire extinguisher at the ready on a wall. Perhaps it is my imagination but it speaks to me of a man who would easily say and mean it, "I enjoy this work and coming here each day."

Nic Fleming is the reporter and notes that Moisseeff described his work as the recreation of "smells using an alembic -- or distillation apparatus -- to extract substances, a rotary evaporator to remove solvents, very precise measuring scales for the chemicals and an archive of 3000-4000 reference odors. ...Some are essential oils and other natural extracts; others I've made from scratch by extracting them from plants and other natural sources."

Fleming describes some of the institutions, people for whom he has created odors and the museum he has created at his home, the Explorarome. There you can "nose up" and try your ability at guessing scents. I like his final comment. "There are no wrong answers -- our relationship with smell is unique and personal."

I wonder what a dog would make of this nose lovers delight?

Friday, April 28, 2023

Friday Poem

Environmental & Science Education, Poetry, Art & Environment

Ed Hessler

Here you may listen as she reads it.
As you know April is National Poetry Month. You may have signed up for a copy of the official poster. It is no longer available. However, if you didn't you may want to see/download a copy here it is. 
There is information about the illustrator Marc Brown (Arthur series), the initiative which produced the artwork between the American Academy of Poets and Scholastic, resources for educators, and a link to Carrying, the poem from which the excerpted line on which the poster is based by U. S. Poet Laureate Ada Limon

A Library of Congress press release for April 24 announced that Ada Limon was appointed U. S. Poet Laureate for a historic second term, the 24th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry. The announcement includes a description of the position, a brief biography and accomplishments during her first term.

Poetry...a good thing so keep on reading it.


Thursday, April 27, 2023

A Photo Gallery And The Scientific Paper: Insects On The Attack

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Behavior, Wildlife, Nature, History of Science, Nature of Science

Ed Hessler

There are two links here.

The first is a Photo Gallery. The gallery title is "Insects of Different Species  Attack Each Other" by Meredith Root-Bernstein. The "brochure for the gallery, the study description, notes that "with a little patience, it is not difficult to observe flower-visiting insects (potential pollinators) attacking each other on flowers with varying degrees of aggression. However, this phenomenon has never been studied.....

The second links to the first scientific paper on this behavior which is completely accessible. It is a technical paper but you may want to learn more about the study. I point out two tables and a chart to peruse.

Table 1 includes the designations for the behaviors observed, their description and the behavior that resulted. Table 2 includes a list of the morphospecies observed (what it says it is but click the link for more details) - form and structure), family, and species examples. Further down there is a chart showing propensity to "aggressive behaviors."

The author's closing remarks provide a summary, possibilities for further research and a recommendation. "The observed interspecific (between species) dominance hierarchy in urban parks in Paris confirmed previous nonsystematic observations in a suburban garden on another continent with a substantially different and perhaps more biodiverse flower-visiting fauna (i.e., more beetles and butterflies). Further extending and refining the methodology to include finer morphospecies categories, more diverse habitats, weather conditions, species assemblages, and other parts of the world might reveal the factors influencing the formation and maintenance of interspecific dominance hierarchies by flower-visiting insects on flowers.

"The observation that the baseline behaviors are “neutral,” implying the least energy expenditure, along with the finding that sunshine and wind increase the rate of aggression, suggests that these aggressive behaviors could be partially explained by ethological accounts of arousal and stress. A fuller explanation that describes cost/benefit strategies of interspecific aggression among flower-visiting insects awaits elaboration. In addition, our observations suggest that the literature on interspecific aggressive interference should incorporate interspecies agonistic (conflict) hierarchies." (my italics)

A wonderful pairing. Don't forget to check the author's affiliations and positions, too.


Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Captive Raising of Lions for Trophy Hunting in South Africa

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Sustainability, Wildlife, Nature, Science & Society

Ed Hessler

"Is it Ethical to Hunt Captive Lions?" or in the print edition, "The Fate of the King" is a special report by Mark Jenkins, Smithsonian J/F 2023 on raising lions in captivity for big-game hunters which is legal in South Africa.

I make some brief points on what it includes hoping you will read it in full. I thought it a great summary of the question as well as introduction to farming practice I knew almost nothing about.

-- discussion of the economics (not pocket change nationally or for hunters)
-- a lion-breeding facility and what government permits are required
-- lion-hunting in history
-- changes in numbers and distribution of lions in Africa
-- the death of the internationally known lion Cecil by a trophy bow hunter (ultimately shot)
-- U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service classification of lions which led to regulation and then softening of the import of lion trophies to the U. S.
-- plans to end captive-lion hunts, the closing of lion-breeding programs and various bans, noting that not one of these has since occurred so far (2 years)
-- safari hunting which incorporates the principle of "fair chase" without any guarantees of success v. captive aka "canned hunting" which guarantees a lion and is much cheaper than safari hunting
-- a discussion with the owners of a trophy game ranch (10,000 in South Africa)
-- the result of Kenya's decision to outlaw all hunting in 1977 and the results (a 70% reduction in wildlife most of it due to habitat destruction/change
-- the bone trade (based on presumed health benefits and a substitute for tiger bones)
-- what to do with South Africa's captive bred lions (~10,000) if captive breeding and the lion-bone trade are outlawed
-- what science says and doesn't or can't if these captive lions which are not accustomed to humans were reintroduced to the wild and other very thorny issues such as effects on prey species and human conflict
--  a discussion with a senior warden who has devoted his life to conservation who does not support "canned hunting" and is aware of the challenges of putting it to an end. He says "'We have moved on'" and that it is time to move further

1) There must have been a bundle of responses and the March print issue of Smithsonian has a sample of responses -- the letters are found under Discussion in the Table of Contents.

a)  one that refers to it as having an anti-farmed hunting slant with reasons for the writer's support of the practice
b)  kudos for its balance as well as emphasizing the enormous complexity of the solution 
c)  a comparison of raising pheasants for hunting in the U. S. which is widely accepted
d)  a comparison of raising animals for human consumption (chickens, turkeys, beef cattle) and for trophy hunting "for the almighty dollar. It's just wrong."
e)  cultural expectations in developed countries which "color this  controversy"
f)  "Shame on South Africa" (and the U. S.) for doing so little to end it

This well-illustrated article may be read here.   


Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Bird Song

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Biodiversity, Biological Evolution, Behavior, Nature, Wildlife

Ed Hessler

Here is an animated video (9 m 42 s) from Bird Academy, Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology explaining the language of birds.

It is not only about how they sing but why.

Monday, April 24, 2023

Cancer: A Formidable Force to Medical Science

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Health, Medicine, Biological Evolution, History of Science

Ed Hessler

The BBC's Health & Science Reporter, James Gallagher writes about a new study on how cancer's grow which has shown  "an almost 'infinite ability' of tumors to grow and survive."

The research team notes that they are up against a "formidable force" and "concluded we need more focus on prevention...early detection and early detection of relapse... with a 'universal' cure unlikely any time soon."

Gallagher reports that "the research showed:

-- Highly aggressive cells in the initial tumor are the ones that ultimately end up spreading around the body

-- Tumors showing higher levels of genetic 'chaos' were more likely to relapse after surgery to to other parts of the body

-- Analyzing blood for fragments of tumor DNA meant signs of it returning could be spotted up to 200 days before appearing on a CT scan

-- The cellular machinery that reads the instructions in our DNA can become corrupted in cancerous cells making them more aggressive." 

Risk of some cancers is associated with obesity, smoking, alcohol, poor diet and inflammation in the body e.g., from air pollution.

Gallagher's reporting is based on seven separate studies all of which may be read  as a PDF (34 pp). They are not written for a lay audience but the abstracts may be of some interest as well as the conclusions for each study. The studies are linked in Gallagher's reporting.

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Largest Volcano In The Solar System

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Geology, Earth & Space Science, Solar System, Astronomy, History of Science

You may already know the location of the largest volcano in the solar system but would like a few more details about it.
The casualness in this statement from the Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) entry that it "will not be difficult for humans to climb (~ 3 times taller than Mount Everest's ~29000' or ~ 8848 m) because of the volcano's shallow slopes and Mars' low gravity," made me smile.

The image of this variously shaded tawny pancake is striking and includes the usual APOD explanations which increase our understanding of what we are looking at. 
This video (11m 43s)  discusses climbing it.


Saturday, April 22, 2023

A Doodad Overhead in the Souhern Hemisphere

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Earth & Space Science, Cosmology, Astrophysics, Astronomy

Ed Hessler

----A doodad: "any small device or object whose name you cannot remember or recall (also doohickey)." --Cambridge Dictionary.

There is also one above us known in astronomic circles as NGC 4372 aka the Dark Doodad.

It is the featured image in an Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) entry where it is discussed. It is not one of those "hand me that doodad" size since it is some 30 million light years in length or close enough to reach -- 700 million light-years distant." 
However, in the southern hemisphere it can be seen with binoculars. The common name is perfect for it is sometimes the image we have of things not remembered or recalled.

The Dark Doodad and an explanation of what is going on in this part of the overhead may be seen here.

Friday, April 21, 2023

Friday Poem

Environmental & Science Education, Poetry, Art & Environment

Ed Hessler

A Gull Goes Up is by Leonie Adams. 

The entry includes comments on the poem, publishing information, a brief biography of Adams as well as three more poems.

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Curiosity Driven Science

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Behavior, Nature, Biodiversity, Nature of Science

Ed Hessler

Georgia Tech's Saad Bhamla leads a group of scientists and prospective scientists who study the biophysics and bioengineering abilities of a variety of organisms - smallish and often thought of as "icky." What is the physics behind what they do?

In this short TED presentation (9 m 26 s), Bhamla tells us about the business of "doing business," in this case, how insects pee.

Do not miss taking some time to explore his webpage, The Bhamla Lab of Extraordinary Organisms. The comics tab has a generous collection of comics that summarize research projects (English and Spanish).
You will find a statement on the home page that the lab is powered by curiosity, on which he places a very high value. Bhamla thinks it is an all too often overlooked attribute of science. (italics mine).

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

172 Years of Global Temperature Change

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Earth & Space Science, Earth Systems, Global Change, Climate Change, Sustainability

Ed Hessler

A striking CNN graphic shows in bold colors the changes in global temperature since 1850 for each decade, a colored stripe for each of the 172 years. The video is 3 m 28 s in length.

It is focused on the 1.5C threshold, a limit adopted by 196 governments or parties in 2015, commonly known as the Paris Agreement.

The video focuses on heat waves and their effects as well as where they are currently being experienced. It ends with the obvious observation that the sooner we develop alternatives to the great variety of fossil fuel uses the better the chance that this limit can be held.
However, the 1.5 C (35.7 F) threshold is more than likely to be breached. Currently, the global temperature rise is at 1.1 C (33.98 F)

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

"Chronically Catherine"

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Health, Medicine, Science & Society

Ed Hessler

Living With is a STAT feature which "explores the contours of life with chronic illness, from the prelude to diagnosis to new patterns of living, to wrestling with big questions about illness and health."

The April 4, 2023 publication of Living With is an interview with Catherine Ames, a student at the University of Southern California about living with a chronic disease. Her doctor once described her as "'someone with SSRT: some sort of rheumatic disease.'"

This is how Isabella Cueto begins this report.

"As Catherine Ames described it, this was quite a scene. She was hospitalized (again), and so weak and full of pain that she could barely walk. It took three Navy men holding her up to complete her daily walk around the ward. Her concerned mother hoped she wouldn't lose her balance and fall. but all Ames could think about 'was how this was the closest I'd been to cute guys in months.'

That was the beginning, the very first paragraph in the very first essay Ames, 24, wrote for the University of Southern California's student newspaper, a little over two years ago. That entry was the start of 'Chronically Catherine', a recurring column Amers has written for the Daily Trojan ever since."

In the STAT interview with Amers is reviewed by a "tumultuous journey to a diagnosis, how she's learned to find levity (with which she and her mother are well supplied) in demoralizing moments, and how disability has changed her college life." Below are the headings for each segment of the interview.

--During a pretty pivotal time in your illness, you studied abroad in New Zealand. Can you tell me about that turning point? 

--When you came back, you had a marathon of doctor’s appointments to figure out what was going on. What was that like? 

--How did you feel after getting so many opinions? 

--What kept you grounded during that period of disorientation?

--Where are you now with your diagnoses and treatment plan? 

There is a box describing the various rheumatic diseases. She also describes her struggle for health coverage/insurance. The diagnosis "lupus" is what she has for their purposes.

The interview is compelling and includes links to relevant material.

Monday, April 17, 2023

Risk Taking in Research

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Nature of Science, History of Science

Ed Hessler

Feedback from research - results and what follows to make evidence-based sense of the findings - is one of delayed gratification. And then there is the wait after the research becomes a publication. Waits include peer review and publication schedules. You just have to wait, being careful not to force anything. Included in this chain of events is failure and then decisions have to be made on how to make a new start, this time with the advantage of what has been learned from the original research design.

When Ecologist Matthias Rillig began making videos of his lectures during the pandemic he had no idea that he would later use what he learned from this experience to develop a YouTube channel, Life in Academia

One of the videos is on how to encourage risk taking in research - risk ups the failure ante but it is important to researchers and research teams. And I think much of what he speaks about is accessible to non-researchers.

Fear of Failure is 8 m 20 s in length. It includes a guide to its content which I have copied below to help you make a decision on what and how you want to watch. I liked that he decided to start with the classroom, what is taught and also that he has a section noting that "this is not going to be easy". 

Here is his webpage with a link to the Rillig Group. If it pops up in German there is a translation link, although I suspect you will find this without my help!

0:00 Fear of failure (and thus high risk research) 2:01 Start with the courses we teach 3:35 Change the way research teams deal with failure 5:16 How to integrate high-risk work 7:30 This is not going to be very easy....

Sunday, April 16, 2023

Rubin's Galaxy

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Nature of Science, History of Science, Astronomy, Astrophysics

Ed Hessler

A Hubble Space Telescope image of Rubin's Galaxy (UGC 2885) is featured in this Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. UGC refers to the Uppsala General Catalogue of Galaxies.

The explanation includes a link to the Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics  published An Interesting Voyage - Vera C. Rubin (49:1 - 28).  Whether you know who she was or not, this essay is worth every word. The link was slow in loading so be patient if that is your experience. 

Below is the abstract. I love the brief description of her decision to become an astronomer.

My life has been an interesting voyage. I became an astronomer because I could not imagine living on Earth and not trying to understand how the Universe works. My scientific career has revolved around observing the motions of stars within galaxies and the motions of galaxies within the Universe. In 1965, if you were very lucky and interested in using telescopes, you could walk into a research laboratory that was building instruments that reduced exposure times by a factor of 10 and end up making remarkable discoveries. Women generally required more luck and perseverance than men did. It helped to have supportive parents and a supportive husband.

And here is the Wiki entry about Dr. Rubin. It includes a note on "The Stuff Between the Stars: How Vera Rubin Discovered Most of the Universe." a children's book by Sandra Nickel and beautifully illustrated by Aimee Sicuro. The Amazon link allows a peek inside. The age range seems ambitious (age 6) and also seems appropriate for children older than the upper end (9).

Saturday, April 15, 2023

California Dreamin'

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Earth & Space Science, Earth Systems, Nature, Art and Environment

Ed Hessler 

California is "experiencing a rare 'superbloom',"write NPR's Joe Hernandez and Emily Bogle, "that's blanketing the ground with a variety of richly colored plants. The lush growth comes after a particularly wet past few months in California...."

Take a walk through the gallery of photographs, all oohs and ahs.

Friday, April 14, 2023

Friday Poem

Environmental & Science Education, Poetry, Art & Environment, Nature, Wildlife

Ed Hessler

Between Us And is by Anne Carson.

Publication information is included in the link to the poem. Here is the link to the book.

Thursday, April 13, 2023

Predators, Parasites and Parasitoids

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Nature, Wildlife, Biodiversity, Biological Evolution

Ed Hessler

Over at WEIT is found "another text-and-photo lesson by Athayde Tonhasca Junior" in the WEIT daily series, Readers' Wildlife Photos.

It is about critters who "regulate the natural world." They are its predators, parasites and parasitoids.

Another superb mini-lesson on the workings of the natural world.
h/t WEIT


Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Rocks and the Geologist Who Transformed How We Think About Time

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Geology, Earth & Space Science, Earth Systems, Nature of Science, History of Science

Ed Hessler

-- "And the remarkable thing about (James) Hutton, I think, is that he arrived at an understanding of eternity, through evidence...." -- David Farrier, Literature and Environment, University of  Edinburgh.

"In the first of three films, "Richard Fisher, a Senior Journalist for the BBC "traces Huttons's steps to one of geology's most important locations in Scotland. There Hutton identified a formation of rocks that would transform how we think about time."

The BBC Reel presentation is 12 m 4 s in length.

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Hybrid Poplars and Climate Change

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Sustainability, Global Change, Climate Change

Ed Hessler

A start-up called Living Carbon (LC) has been in the news. The organization has bioengineered - to enhance photosynthesis - a poplar tree that removes more carbon dioxide from the air than normal. The aim is to provide carbon credits.

The Star Tribune reprinted a story by New York Times writer, Gabriel Popkin in its Science & Health section, March 5, 2023. It was titled "An Ethics Debate Sprouts in the Forest." However, to read it in both newspapers you must be a subscriber. I include the link to the NYT story which has a couple of paragraphs and a photograph of the tree planting described in Popkin's reporting.
Below are a few items from Popkin's reporting.

--The Global Justice Ecology Project which has a position on genetically modified trees responded by suggesting that government regulators allowed LC to do an evasive quick step through and around rules and regulations, thereby "opening the door to commercial plantings much sooner than is typical for engineered plants." 

An example of this difference is provided by Popkin who reports that the planting of an engineered apple (on a small scale in Washington state) "took several years to be approved."  The opening sentence in Popkin's story emphasizes this difference. "In...a tract of southern Georgia's pine belt...row upon row of the twig-like poplar trees" have already been planted."

--LC has not published peer-reviewed papers.

--Greenhouse experiments reveal almost nothing about how well the engineered plant will do when planted outdoors.

For information about  Living Green see here.

Early reporting on climate mitigation proposals leads one to ask, as NPR's Julia Simon did, "How does someone figure out what's legit?" ... Six climate scholars" were asked about "the questions they ask themselves whenever they come across something claiming to be a climate solution." The response headings are listed below but the essay includes important details for each.

-- A big climate solution is an obvious one.

--Think about who's selling you the solution.

--A solution may sound promising, but is it available and scalable now?

--If it's adding emissions, it's not a climate solution.

--If a solution sounds too easy, be skeptical.

--If a solution sounds too easy, be skeptical.

--There's no one solution to climate change - and no one can do it alone.

4our questions:
a) Do you find these questions useful?
b) If you applied them to the case of the hybrid trees, did it help you in reaching a tentative decision?
c) What questions/comments do you have?
d) What else would you like to know before reaching an informed citizen's conclusion?

Monday, April 10, 2023

"Plant Talk"

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Behavior, Nature, Biodiversity, Evolutionary Biology, History of Science, Nature of Science

Ed Hessler

It has been observed that some plants make ultrasonic clicks when thirsty or stressed. The two plants that had their stems cut and listened to were tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) and tomato (Solanum lycopersicum).

When they needed water or had their stems cut, they made ~ 25 clicks per hour while those with sufficient water and uncut made ~ 1 click per hour. NatureNews provides a summary of a paper published in Cell (linked). Because the sounds are "so high-pitched that very few humans could hear them. Some animals, however, probably can. Bats, mice and moths could potentially live in a world filled with the sounds of plants, and previous work has found that plants respond to sounds made by animals." (underline mine).

Liach Hadany, Tel Aviv University describes the sounds. "'It is a bit like popcorn ---- very short clicks. It is not singing."

Emma Marris who wrote the short article describes the current hypothesis that causes the sound, notes that other plants also make noises when thirsty, e.g., wheat (Triticum aestivum), corn (Zea mays) and wine grapes (Vitis vinifera), research on "whether plants can 'hear' sounds, and found that beach evening primroses (Oenothera drummondii) release sweeter nectar when exposed to the sound of a flying bee, and the lack of clarity about whether "plant noises an important feature of ecosystems, influencing the behavior of plants and animals (are) alike".

Retired biologist Graham Pyke (Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia) shares his skepticism about the importance of plant sounds in ecosystems. Emma Marris wrote that "he thinks the sounds would be too faint" to draw much attention.

Marris's report includes a recording of the sounds which have been processed to make them audible to us.  It is 36 s long.

Here is Marris's reporting. I also suggest as I always do that you take a cursory look at the paper in Cell for more information as well as to compare the headline in Nature News with the original paper and, of course, the  title I use for this posting.
This is also a good story on how scientists take advantage of new technology. 
I wrote a draft the day that it was a feature in Nature News. I was really pleased when a real evolutionary biologist--Jerry Coyne -- featured and discussed this paper on WEIT (April 4, 2023). WEIT is the acronym for his website "Why Evolution Is True."
I urge, strongly urge, you take advantage of Dr. Coyne's informed discussion which includes many quotes from the paper as well as other relevant information on interpreting the evidence, etc.