"˜Polar Vortex' Brings Climate Questions, Energy-Market Fallout

A thermometer displays -11 degrees as a commuters makes a sub-zero trek through the Loop on January 6, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. Temperatures in the city dipped to -16 degree Fahrenheit this morning on the heals of a polar vortex that has swept into the Midwest bringing with it dangerously cold temperatures not seen in the area in about 20 years. (National Journal)

The invading "polar vortex" that has sent U.S. temperatures plunging is shaking up energy markets.

It's also prompting plenty of discussion about the relationship between the Arctic blast and global warming.

First the markets: Bloomberg reports that falling temperatures helped to push up natural-gas prices Monday as demand for home heating rises.

U.S. natural-gas demand hit a record on Monday, MarketWatch reports.

The Associated Press reports that the Arctic blast also bolstered oil prices in trading early Tuesday.

All this cold air rushing into the U.S. "may be a counterintuitive example of global warming in action," Climate Central reports. The nonprofit research organization's Andrew Freedman explains why the weather pattern may be linked to rapid warming and loss of sea ice in the Arctic.

The Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang reports that the frigid U.S. weather "in no way disproves climate change."