Winter Solstice
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Early civilizations needed to keep accurate time. They measured the seasons by using astronomy and studying the Sun Moon and Stars.
The Moon cycle would form months and the sun rose and set each day.  
 Earths distance from the Sun varies 1.5 million miles during its year long journey around the Sun.
Different civilizations constructed devices and temples to keep track of the time.
The Pyramids in Egypt are laid out to correspond with the stars that make up the constellation of Orion. The wondering Nile River flows past these structures representing the Milky Way.
It seems that civilizations around the world independent of each other studied the Sun, Moon and Stars and built elaborate structures to keep track of time, seasons and events. Some of this pre-dates written documents and must have been studied for generations and passed on by word until one could build the structure based on many generations of observing.
Note that the Earths tilt exposes more of its surface towards the sun during summer months and less during winter. This is why it is warmer in summer and cooler in winter. The Earth is closer to the Sun in winter and farther away in summer.  
Summer & Winter Solstice does not coincide with Earths extreme distance peaks.  
The sun climbs in altitude in the sky in spring, reaching its peak during Summer Solstice which results in longer days for the sun to warm the earth. The sun then declines in altitude during fall till the shortest day-Winter Solstice when the sun has less time to warm the earth.  
 Man has been on Earth a relatively short time. We have been recording accurate weather and climatic changes for a very short period of time, maybe 200 years. Scientists are continuing to learn more about Earths climatic history. Recent theories are just our best guess at what really is occurring based on interpretation of current data that has been collected. As you can see it appears that earth goes through a cycle of 100,000 years of which 20% of the time it experiences global warming. We must take care of the earth as it is a finite place with a fixed amount of raw materials. Like a chemical reaction we are not certain what percentage change in any one ingredient can cause an undesirable change. Man tries to duplicate the earths climate to conduct experiments, but how do you duplicate something that is not fully understood yet?
 As you can see everything is moving at relatively great speeds. The Sun is moving around the core of the Milky Way Galaxy at 752 times the speed of sound. We are in the very early stages of finding all the debris that may occupy space. Some of these objects may have profound effect on Earth.
Earth is a finite place with a fixed amount of space and resources. It occupies the perfect orbital zone, tilt, magnetic poles, atmosphere, and natural occurring dynamics that support a vast amount of life including humans. Lets take care of her and she will take care of all of us.

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