Terraforming was the science, industry, and profession that was preoccupied with transforming planets to conditions approximating Earth.
During its Time of Isolation, Barrayar's citizens used primitive methods of terraforming, such as slash-and-burn farming and the use of animal waste as fertilizer, which replaced the indigenous Barrayaran vegetation with Earth plants. By "modern" times, Barrayar's North Continent had regions of active terraforming, while the South Continent was still in need of extensive work.
Komarr had been in the process of terraforming since some time before its absorption into the Barrayaran Imperium, and was expected to need several hundred years more of work. Some techniques of Komarran terraforming included:
- The crashing of icy comets into the planetary surface to increase the amount of available water.
- Heating the planet with the soletta array, a group of giant mirrors reflecting light from Komarr's sun onto the planet.
- Bringing in of microbes and arctic peat-bog plants and growing them in controlled areas.
The Barrayaran colony world of Sergyar was also undergoing terraformation as it opened up for colonization.