Climate ocean tech fix 'can work', research suggests
Tiny marine plants induced to grow by the iron sink to the ocean floor taking carbon with them, a German-led team reports in Nature journal.
Iron fertilisation is one of the oldest ideas for a climate "technical fix".
But much more research is needed before the approach could be put to use, the scientists say, and cutting emissions should be the priority.
There have been about 12 iron fertilisation experiments at sea down the years, stimulated by the pioneering theory of oceanographer John Martin.
In the 1980s, he proposed that in many parts of the oceans, the growth of phytoplankton - tiny marine plants, or algae - was limited by lack of iron.
Adding iron, he suggested, would enable the plants to make full use of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus; and as they grew, they would absorb carbon dioxide.